The antisemitic slur “ki*e” is carved into metal handrail at a New Jersey nature center
Sometime during the late afternoon of Monday, June 12, someone vandalized one of the brand-new footbridges installed in the Fanwood Nature Center by using a sharp object to scrawl the words “ni**a,” “ki*e” and “fa*got” into the aluminum handrail. The vandalism was discovered just hours after the new bridges were installed.
Aside from the despicable nature of the content, which the Fanwood police department is investigating as a bias crime, the footbridges were a long-standing project that cost taxpayers significant dollars.
Mayor Colleen Mahr, Police Director Michael Bramhall, and the Fanwood Borough Council condemned the incident and appealed to the public to help bring those who perpetrated this crime to justice. If anyone knows anything about who did this, they are urged to call Fanwood police at 908-322-5000.
“I am appalled and disappointed,” said Mayor Colleen Mahr. “As a community, we have worked very hard over the last several years to encourage and promote racial healing, mutual respect and tolerance. We are a community that is absolutely committed to moving forward together, not encouraging or ignoring hate. We will not tolerate or accept these actions from anyone in our community. I fully support law enforcement efforts to bring the perpetrator(s) to justice.”
This is just the latest and most troubling incident that is part of a recent increase in general criminal mischief, vandalism, and property damage at the Fanwood Nature Center, LaGrande Park, and Forest Road Park, according to Lt. Dan Kranz, Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the Fanwood PD.
“This department has zero-tolerance for these crimes, and anyone found to be participating in vandalism and property damage will be held fully accountable, both criminally and financially,” said Kranz.
Police will be performing increased checks of all Borough-owned properties, and additional surveillance measures are being put into effect immediately.