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Teenage Suspects Charged in Vandalism That Used Nazi Swastikas

The Montgomery Police Department has charged two teenagers with acts of vandalism in Rockville and Potomac that used anti-Semitic speech and Nazi symbols.

Montgomery County Police charge teenagers with hate-crime vandalism. Photo Credit: File|Patch
Montgomery County Police charge teenagers with hate-crime vandalism. Photo Credit: File|Patch
Two high school students, ages 16 and 17, have been charged in recent hate-crime vandalism in Rockville and Potomac that defaced property with Nazi swastikas and derogatory references to Jews.

According to WJLA, Montgomery County police suspect the pair -- arrested on May 8 -- may be responsible for 20 acts of vandalism that recently happened.

So far, the teens have only been charged with three specific cases of vandalism that happened between April 18 and April 21, according to a press release from the Montgomery County Police Department. A Nazi swastika and the racial slur “All Jews Burn” were drawn on two buses at the Montgomery Child Care Association. A swastika was drawn on the synagogue sign of Young Israel of Potomac. “SS” and a swastika were drawn on the windshield of a vehicle in a residential area.

Police identified the teens by obtaining surveillance videos that showed the suspects during these acts of vandalism, and with the help of a school resource officer, identified them as high school students.

“We strongly value diversity in Montgomery County and our partnership with our faith community,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. “Hate-based acts and crimes will not be tolerated in Montgomery County.”

WJLA reports that someone “associated with the investigation said that he believes the pair acted more out of stupidity than bigotry.”

  • What are your thoughts on these vandalisms? Tell us in the comments section.

Rabbi Yosef Singer of Congregation Young Israel Ezras Israel of Potomac thanked the police department for the investigations and arrests.

“We wish to express our profound gratitude to Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger and his staff for the hard work and professionalism they displayed in apprehending the perpetrators of the recent act of anti-Semitic vandalism committed against our synagogue and community,” he said. “We are especially appreciative of their genuine concern for the sensitivities of the Jewish community. The quick and effective response of the MCPD show that these acts of hatred will not be tolerated.”
Barbara Sosnick May 12, 2014 at 06:36 PM
These teenagers should be charged as adults. Since when is "All Jews Burn" something that is considered "stupid," rather than violent and a call to violence? Is there tolerance for anti-Semitic hatred at higher levels? Have to wonder what these teenagers are learning at home, since the apple often doesn't fall far from the tree. Likely that these teenagers will be given a slap on the wrist, and suffer no concrete consequences as a result of their disturbing hate crimes.
William R. Maloni May 12, 2014 at 07:50 PM
I think their required sentences--which will treat them as children-- should involve some prolonged labor service to both the Jewish elderly and local synagogues, closely overseen so they don't frighten the older folks or quietly sabotage the facilities.
Kim Cooke May 13, 2014 at 07:31 AM
Barbara, I agree with you. When we start considering something like this to be teen rebellion, we're in trouble. This is far more than vandalism. And how do two children from Potomac and Rockville develop feelings like this toward human beings? We need to be vigilant.
larry oxman May 13, 2014 at 08:13 AM
Well, I guess the Nazi's, and others- are STUPID- NOT BIGOTS???? Try talking to a Holacaust survivor
bmarkowitz May 13, 2014 at 08:59 AM
As part of their "punishment" these two boys should be educated by a Rabbi or other Jewish leader/teacher on the history of the Holocaust and the meaning of the swastika. My late uncle, Rabbi Eugene Markowitz of Clifton, NJ had a similar experience of his synagogue and home being defaced with swastikas and poisonous graffiti. He taught these three boys about the brutal murders of 6 million Jews in Europe at the hands of Hitler and his fellow Nazi murderers. He had a local priest teach the boys that Jesus was a Jew. He took them to the Holocaust Museum. He had them research and write papers on Jewish topics. Most importantly, he turned their lives around and instilled in them a deep respect for Judaism. They were deeply remorseful and didn't understand why they were so hateful and destructive to begin with. With the passing of the Survivors of the Holocaust (those that remain are in their late 80's and 90's,) we owe it to their memory to honor them and pledge to never again allow such an organized mass murder of innocent people to occur anywhere in the world. Education can conquer many evils.

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