Reward Offered In Search For Suspect After Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found At Synagogue In Newtown

A reward is being offered in the search for a suspect or suspects after anti-semitic graffiti was found painted on the front and sidewalls of the Adath Israel Synagogue located in Newtown.

Adath Israel Synagogue

Adath Israel Synagogue

Photo Credit: Adath Israel Synagogue

At about 7:40 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24, a Newtown Police Department officer performing building checks discovered the graffiti.

An investigation into the incident has been launched and the Newtown Police working in conjunction with officials from the synagogue to ensure their safety and address their concerns, Newtown PD Lt. Aaron Bahamonde said.

The Town of Newtown has provided assistance from its Public Works Department to remove the graffiti and repaint the damaged areas of the synagogue prior to the start of scheduled services.

Chief of Police James Viadero has been in contact with the Anti-Defamation League and it has offered a reward of up to $2,500 for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects responsible for this disturbing crime. 

"As an agency, we are extremely disturbed at this act of defacing a house of worship, in particular, the meaning and symbolism painted on the walls of the synagogue espouse hatred, which is not indicative of this community," Viadero said. "This serious hate crime will be given the full attention of this agency, while utilizing other law enforcement resources to determine the identity of those responsible. 

"The congregation has been assured that enhanced patrols will continue in the area and that there will be a police presence during scheduled services."

"This morning, I viewed the hateful desecration of Congregation Adath Israel with sadness," First Selectman Dan Rosenthal said. "The congregants of Adath Israel have contributed to the fabric of this community immeasurably for over 100 years. 

"Newtown has always been a place where people of all religions are welcome and have worked together hand in hand to build a better community and the hateful actions of an individual or individuals will not change that. I look forward to personally asking the courts to offer no leniency when the vile individual is apprehended."

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact the Newtown Police Department at 203-270-4255.

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