jueves, 1 de diciembre de 2011

Kristalnacht in Highland Park New Jersey, Jewish businesses destroyed.

Police have arrested a New Brunswick man in connection with vandalism against Jewish-owned and Jewish-centric businesses in Highland Park, N.J.

Authorities charged Richard M. Green, 59, with five counts of criminal mischief, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office. Police believe he smashed the windows of five businesseson Raritan Avenue overnight.

"The on-going investigation is seeking to determine if Green is responsible for other acts of criminal mischief that have occurred in the past several days," according to a statement from the prosecutor's office. "Upon completion of the investigation, a decision will be made on whether Green will be charged with other incidents, and whether the criminal mischief counts will be upgraded to a bias crime."

The preliminary investigation determined that the shops that were targeted are Jewish businessesthat trade in such items as clothing, food and religious items and are owned by Jewish merchants.

A kosher pizzeria, a restaurant, a Judaica store, a hardware store, and one other shop were vandalized, according to the Elder of Ziyon blog.

No graffiti or offensive slogans or symbols were found on the storefronts, according to police.

Police said it is "too soon to reach a conclusion" that the vandalism was motivated by anti-Semitism, but if the investigation reveals that then Green could face bias charges.

"All of our officers are aware of the sensitivity of this situation and we will make every effort with patrols and surveillance to keep everyone safe," police said in the statement.

Vandals also targeted three locations in New Brunswick Tuesday, according to the blog. Police are investigating if Green was involved in those incidents.

The cost of the damage was not immediately available.

Police distributed fliers to the community today advising residents to remain calm and assured them that an intensive investigation has been launched.

If you have any information about this incident you can contact the Highland Park Police Department at 732-572-3800.

The vandalism follows a string of swastika paintings in Brooklyn and Queens and the arson of several vehicles in Brooklyn accompanied by anti-Semitic graffiti.

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