Hanover County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two teens who they believe were behind antisemitic vandalism found at Mechanicsville High School.
The incident happened back in October, when school administration was notified about the disturbing graffiti. Investigators with the Hanover Sheriff’s Office found swastikas, among other words, phrases and symbols, spray painted on the football field.
Rabbi Dovid Asher, with the Keneseth Beth Israel in Richmond, said looking at those swastikas is like reliving the pain of his past.
“My mother’s parents were murdered by the Nazis,” Asher said. “The Nazi symbol for me represents the people in my family who were murdered.”
After the crude and hateful symbols rattled the close-knit community, deputies began interviewing people in an effort to find the suspects. They arrested and charged two teenage boys following an interview on Tuesday, Jan. 9.
The teens were each charged with three misdemeanors — trespassing on school property, vandalism and entering property with intent to damage. Their names haven’t been released because of their age.
Asher said these arrests bring us a few steps closer to dismantling antisemitism.
“Very often we like to complain about government not working like it should,” said Asher. “And when they do make an arrest, justice is served and it will help our community have less hate inside of our neighborhoods.”
Asher said education is the key to combatting that.