Two Arrests in Nelsonville Graffiti Case

District attorney says investigation ongoing

By Michael Turton

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office has made two arrests connected to anti-Semitic graffiti painted on the night of Oct. 30 inside a home being built in Nelsonville by a resident who is Jewish.

A representative for the sheriff said two males, ages 17 and 18, one from Philipstown and the other from an unspecified location, have been charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor criminal mischief, trespass and graffiti charges. They appeared before Nelsonville Justice Court Justice Dennis Zenz on Nov. 14. Because they are younger than 19, they are both considered youthful offenders and were not identified. Putnam County District Attorney Robert Tendy said the investigation is continuing.

The graffiti, which included a Nazi swastika, anti-Semitic slur and obscenities, was spray-painted three days after 11 people died in a shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

The incident prompted outrage and disbelief among Philipstown residents, and a Nov. 10 vigil organized by the Philipstown Reform Synagogue in response to the Pittsburgh shooting and the graffiti filled St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Cold Spring. Earlier that month, religious leaders in Beacon held a unity rally after anti-Semitic fliers were posted outside two churches there.

3 thoughts on “Two Arrests in Nelsonville Graffiti Case

  1. If the suspects haven’t read The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank, it should be a mandatory part of any punishment. And a written analysis, too.

  2. Why is this not being prosecuted as a hate crime? I believe we need to recognize hate crimes when they occur and prosecute them as such for if we do not it serves as a tacit agreement with these vile acts.

    • Robert Tendy, the Putnam County district attorney, said on Tuesday (Dec. 11) that because there is an ongoing investigation, “decisions regarding any [further] charges will be made at the appropriate time…. There are factual issues which at this time cannot be divulged.”