Two Fair Lawn teens scrawled anti-transgender graffiti outside a Glen Rock café, said police who took both into custody following an investigation helped in large part by area surveillance video.
Juvenile complaints were signed against the 17-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy who left the LGBQT+ graffiti outside Nectar Café in a Rock Road shopping complex earlier this month, Police Chief Dean Ackermann said Wednesday.
The vandalism, discovered when the owner opened for the day on Oct. 7, was “a random act,” Ackermann said.
“No specific individual, person, or business was targeted,” the chief said.
Detectives were keeping on eye on the Central Business District near the scene of the crime when they nabbed the pair while recovering additional evidence around 6 p.m. Tuesday, he said.
Juvenile complaints charging each with criminal mischief and bias intimidation were signed against the teens before they were released to a responsible adult.
The case will be heard by a Family Part judge behind closed doors in Superior Court in Hackensack.
Ackermann noted that the incident comes “just after NJ Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced an inter-agency task force convened to address the alarming rate of bias incidents among New Jersey’s children and young adults.
“The task force has issued a report recommending sweeping reforms to the state’s education system, tougher antibias laws, and a robust public engagement campaign, in order to counter the trend,” the chief said.
He praised the work of Detective Sgt. James Calaski and Detective Lucas Doney on the case and thanked “the businesses and community members who provided video and other clues [that] led to the identification of the offenders.”
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