Glen Cove Police Detective Sergeant Thomas Fitzpatrick has reported an act of vandalism at the temple of Congregation Tifereth Israel on Hill Street in Glen Cove. On Saturday July 24, the custodian at the temple noticed a group of boys walking around outside the building, one of whom carried a can of spray paint. When the custodian went outside to investigate, the boys ran away. The custodian found that a swastika and an obscene statement were spray-painted on the side of temple. Glen Cove police were called and a description of the suspects broadcast. Shortly thereafter, three boys fitting the description were observed in the Landing area by Glen Cove Police Officer Jack McDougal and Detective Karl Van Allen. The boys ran when the officers approached and a short foot chase ended when Officer McDougal apprehended the suspects.
Two of the boys were released from custody and the boy alleged to have sprayed the temple was charged with several felonies, including a hate crime.
Phil Essex, president of the temple's congregation, was very concerned that instances like this "still occur in our society in places where people are enlightened and knowledgeable." Mr. Essex has spoken with the teen's family. "The young man's mother was very upset and remorseful about the incident. We had a very good discussion and I expressed my hope that the family and I could meet with the DA prior to the court date to try to resolve the matter in a positive manner...turn a negative incident into a positive. I have spoken with the supervisor of juvenile intake and told her of my willingness to settle this in the most amicable way possible. She hadn't yet received the case, so she could not offer any suggestions to me. Right now we have to wait and see how the court will handle the situation before we can do anything," he said.
Mr. Essex has great praise for the way the Glen Cove police handled the call, saying, "The police response was quick and efficient, and we are very appreciative of that. They have also increased patrolling of the area; we are appreciative of that, also."
The boy, who cannot be identified because of his age, is scheduled to appear in Nassau County Family Court to answer the charges on August 16.