Gravesend

Anti-Semitic incidents shock Gravesend, Bay Ridge officials

June 1, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A vandal carved a swastika into the sidewalk at McDonald Avenue and Avenue W in Gravesend. Photo courtesy of Councilmember Mark Treyger’s office

Two shocking anti-Semitic incidents that took place the same day have police and officials searching for answers. On May 24, a constituent contacted Councilmember Mark Treyger’s district office in Gravesend to report that a swastika had been carved into the sidewalk at the corner of McDonald Avenue and Avenue W. That same day, four swastikas were discovered painted on the 69th Street Pier in Bay Ridge, officials said.

Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-parts of Bensonhurst), who worked with city agencies to have the swastika quickly removed, denounced the anti-Semitic act of vandalism.

“As the grandson of Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans, I take incidents like this extremely seriously,” Treyger said in a statement. “This type of act is not one to be taken lightly, especially at a time when our city works to be an inclusive safe haven for people of all backgrounds and denominations. Symbols of bigotry and hate have no place anywhere in our community, and I thank the Department of Transportation for acting quickly to remove the symbol.”

Treyger also praised the constituent who brought the ugly incident to his attention. “Most of all, I thank the constituent who noticed this disturbing image, and rather than simply ignoring it, took the time to notify our office. Vigilance against the spread of hate and intolerance is a responsibility we all share.”

Also on May 24, as hundreds of people gathered on the 69th Street Pier to enjoy the Parade of Ships to mark the start of Fleet Week, swastikas were found scrawled on a utility box and lamppost on the pier.

NYPD is investigating the Gravesend and Bay Ridge incidents. No arrests have been made.

As in the Gravesend incident, the Bay Ridge vandalism was reported to a local elected official.

John Quaglione, deputy chief of staff to state Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn), told the Brooklyn Eagle that the senator’s office was notified of the incident.

Quaglione headed down to the pier with cans of yellow and silver spray paint intending to cover the hateful graffiti. But he stopped after police asked him to leave the swastikas in place so that they could investigate.

“My first inclination was to just paint over everything. But after I painted over the yellow box, the police asked us not to paint over any of the others because they were sending the hate crime unit in to investigate,” Quaglione told the Eagle.