Two men are facing charges for allegedly spray-painting anti-Semitic graffiti on county-owned property in Westchester.
Westchester County Police announced the arrests on Wednesday afternoon, May 27.
On Monday, May 25, the graffiti was found spray-painted on a path off Parkway Road near Midland Avenue at the Bronxville-Yonkers border, which was reported to police.
The graffiti, including a swastika and racist language targeting African-Americans and Mexican-Americans, was found on the back of a dugout at Scout Field and along a pathway north of the field.
Officials noted that the graffiti has since been covered over by the county’s public works personnel.
The vandalism was reported to Westchester County Police at approximately 10 a.m. on Monday when a woman approached an officer who had arrived to conduct an inspection of the area.
An investigation into the vandalism by County Police, with an assist from the Bronxville Police Department, led to the arrest of Nodar Kikvisize, 22, of Bronxville, and Thomas Hasselt, 23, of Yonkers, who are allegedly responsible for the spray paint.
Kikvisize and Hasselt were both charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime, aggravated harassment, both felonies, and making graffiti, a misdemeanor.
“Hateful acts of this kind have no place in Westchester County, ever,” Westchester County Executive George Latimer said in a statement. “But this is particularly a time when we all need to stand together as we face the challenges of the COVI—19 pandemic.”
Congressman Eliot Engel added: “This racist and anti-Semitic graffiti is disgusting and has no place in our community. I’m glad that local law enforcement is following up diligently.
"We must all work together to ensure that everyone - from every background - is safe and protected from violence and bigotry," he continued. "Unfortunately, we live in a time when even the President of the United States stokes the flames of bigotry for his own political gain. I’ll do everything in my power to fight back.”
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