NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police on Wednesday arrested a young boy in connection to a disturbing array of anti-Semitic graffiti found drawn in chalk on a Queens playground last week.
Dozens of swastikas and other anti-Semitic messages were spotted by a custodian outside PS 139 in Rego Park last Friday.
Local leaders took to social media to condemn the hateful drawings which were quickly washed away.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said the Hate Crimes Task Force arrested a 12-year-old boy in connection to the hateful writings.
On Fri, 2-22-19, anti-Semitic graffiti was found throughout a Queens playground. The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force now have the suspect—a 12 year old male—in custody. Great job @NYPDHateCrimes No matter the face of hate, the NYPD, partnered with the community, has ZERO tolerance. pic.twitter.com/zfq5GIHiXa
— Chief Dermot F. Shea (@NYPDDetectives) February 28, 2019
“No matter the face of hate, the NYPD, partnered with the community, has ZERO tolerance,” Shea tweeted.
The boy was charged with aggravated harassment.
So far this year, 36 anti-Semitic crimes have been reported in the city compared to 21 at this time last year.
In an interview with WNYC on Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the increase is unacceptable.
“There’s no question there is a huge uptick in real hate crime of all types,” de Blasio said. “In this city we’ve seen it in a horrible manner, particularly lately anti-Semitic hate crimes.”
Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-48th) said he’s hoping to help prevent that kind of hate with education, and says he’s trying to pass a law that would require the discussion of hate crimes in schools.
“We as a city need to do more,” he said. “We can’t just talk the talk, we need to walk the walk.”
Officials did not release the name of the 12-year-old in custody.