A man wearing a baseball hat with a swastika on it at an area diner was escorted out of the establishment by police in Westchester.
The incident took place on Friday, Oct. 11, at the City Limits Diner in White Plains, according to the restaurant's owner on Facebook.
Nick Livanos, who has run the popular diner, along with his family for more than 25 years, wrote that in the mid-afternoon, a man entered wearing a baseball cap with a yarmulke attached to the top of it with a swastika drawn on it.
"At the time he entered the restaurant, the host was unable to see the top of his head and did not notice anything amiss," Livanos said on Facebook. "He promptly seated him at a table, and a waiter proceeded to interact with him."
Shortly after a waiter took the man's order, a manager noticed the "offensive emblem" and that he was wearing earplugs, Livanos wrote.
Livanos said the manager immediately brought it to the attention of an owner.
"At that point (and always), our primary and immediate concern was the safety of our patrons and staff," he said. "As there was no way of knowing whether or not this person was intending to cause physical harm to those around him, or his motivations, he was not immediately confronted by our staff."
The owners said they decided to call the police rather than confront the man directly. Patrons began to leave the restaurant as they noticed the offensive hat.
When the White Plains Police arrived on the scene they escorted the man off the property, after checking his name through intelligence systems to make sure he was not wanted, the Examiner reported.
Police also reported his information to the State Terrorism Center.
White Plains Commissioner of Public Safety David Chong told the Examiner that as offensive as his display was, it was his constitutional right to free speech and expression and he had the right to wear the hat.
“Unfortunately as offensive as his display was, he did not threaten anyone and just sat down to eat,” Chong told the Examiner.
The owners said on Facebook: "Yesterday’s incident completely caught us off guard. We want our entire community to know that my family, and our employees, completely condemn, and will not tolerate, at any level, any form of bigotry or hate, including anti-Semitism."
Efforts to reach White Plains Police for comment were unsuccessful.
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