Two Schools and One Church On Mercer Island Tagged With Anti-Semitic Graffiti

| September 20, 2010

MERCER ISLAND – Mercer Island police are investigating three hate crimes at three local schools, including one where swastikas and anti-Semitic messages were spray painted on the walls of the only Jewish high school in the state of Washington.

The graffiti included references to gas chambers. Three older teens caught on surveillance video at around 1:45 a.m. today are believed to be responsible.

The walls of the Northwest Yeshiva High School on Mercer Island were vandalized with orange, blue and gray paint, and had arrows labeled "gas chambers."

Similar graffiti was spray painted at St. Monica's Catholic Church and School and on two vehicles parked at the school.

The vandalism is similar to a third incident, where someone spray painted hate speech toward police officers at Island Park Elementary, also on Mercer Island. That graffiti also included racial messages.

"It's disgusting, sad and disgusting. In my opinion the sooner we get it covered up the less satisfaction the people who did it are going to receive," says Kevin Franke.

"It's so disrespectful. We all know people who have been in the Holocaust, we know survivors," says student Halle Friedman.

The campus is secured by a locked gate, but police say at least three suspects jumped over it to get to the buildings. They were caught on surveillance camera in the parking lot.

"We are taking it seriously," says Mercer Island Police Detective Pete Erickson. "Our concern is this was discovered on Yom Kippur, a high Jewish holiday. We have extra patrols around all our Jewish facilities on Mercer Island and we're paying attention to them."

Detectives say they saw the letters "MAUS" at the elementary school and think that could be the signature of one of the taggers. If you have any information about these hate crimes, call Mercer Island Police at 206-275-7955.,0,3520776.story?track=rss

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Category: Church Security, Synagogue/Jewish Security

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