A northern New Jersey town woke up on Halloween morning to find antisemitic and racist graffiti scribbled on the streets of their neighborhood.
The mayor of Woodcliff Lake shared the photographs of the graffiti scrawled in white chalk on Woodmont Drive which included a swastika, the drawing of a penis, and the words ‘Jews’ and’ n——.‘
“These images are disturbing and criminal. It is vandalism and a hate crime. The perpetrators will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law,” Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carols A. Rendo said.
The crime happened on Mischief Night, where teenagers usually dangle toilet paper and silly string from trees, and throw soap or egg yolks on parked cars the night before Halloween.
Rendo told the Post, “A resident text me early in the morning and I was quite disturbed and upset by it.” He expects that the perpetrators are “ignorant kids who thought it was funny.”
There are a significant number of Jewish Americans who reside in Woodcliff Lake.
“I am appalled by these anti-Semitic acts. This is a hate crime and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Cathy Pollak, a 31 year resident of WCL told The Post.
Danielle Shugar Berkowicz commented on Facebook, “Anyone old enough to draw a swastika is able to understand it’s true meaning. Really upsetting and horrifying this could happen in our town.”
The police are in the process of conducting an investigation.
“The WCLPD is investigating a bias incident regarding hate speech and symbols displayed in the area of Woodmont Drive,” tweeted the police department. “We are taking this matter very seriously as this conduct is unacceptable in our community.”
New Jersey saw bias crimes rise 73% in 2019 to 345 incidents, the most ever recorded in the state and the second-highest nationwide behind New York State.