Written by Rich Forestano: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 20 April 2012 00:00
Friday the 13th is known for horror movies and bad luck. On Friday, April 13, it took on a new meaning…an unwarranted statement of hate.
Graffiti, specifically swastikas, have been an issue in Nassau County recently. Mineola was hit with a spree in February, with 11 incidents spread across the village and at least one symbol slapped on Chaminade High School. Last Friday, the markings reached West Hempstead.
The Fifth Squad is investigating two separate incidents of aggravated harassment that occurred in West Hempstead, reported on April 13 and April 16 on Wilson Street and Ivy Street. Police said a woman, 53, found a swastika painted on the front window of her home last Friday. The Wilson Street homeowner could not be reached for comment.
Two-year West Hempstead resident Sabrina Jaccy awoke to find a swastika painted on the passenger door of her 1999 blue Volkswagen on Monday morning, April 16 on Ivy Street. The car had been parked there since Friday night.
“We’ve lived here for two years and I don’t understand it,” Jaccy said, pointing at the car. “Early that morning I got up and I saw that. I was in shock. There’s tons of cars on this block and they pick this one.”
The Jaccys, who are of Haitian decent, could not think of anyone who would hold a grudge and initially thought someone was angry because her car was parked in one spot for too long.
“I don’t know who it could have been,” she said. “It’s probably not someone from this block. I just want my kids to be safe.”
Swastikas have been, sadly, a popular symbol to project visual hate recently. Mineola fought its own battle with swastika graffiti on Feb. 10 and 11.
That investigation is still ongoing, according to police. The Village of Mineola and Chaminade High School offered a $500 reward each for information on the village attacks.
Police officials stated the Ivy Street incident was not reported until Monday, April 16. Authorities are looking into everything, but would not confirm nor deny if the graffiti hits are connected to the Mineola attacks, according to police. Furthermore, the West Hempstead investigation is still in its infancy.
Sabrina’s husband Jean, 35, took the lead Monday and chose what he thought was the logical direction.
“I did what I had to do; I called the cops,” he said. “I think it was kids. I don’t think it was anyone with the grudge.”
Lubens Masere, a Jaccy family member visiting from Florida, said his first reaction was shock and surprise, stating that this type of behavior should not exist today.
“We know what the message is,” Masere said. “It’s a hate message. But I’m still surprised.”
“I know for sure that it’s not anyone around here,” Jean Jaccy said. “I don’t have a problem with anyone. The symbol is terrible.”
Masere thinks the neighborhood is safe and that this type of behavior hurts a community’s image. “This is 2012 man,” he lamented. “Stuff like this should not happen today. This is a nice neighborhood and it just hurts this area to have this happen. We don’t judge others by the color of their skin.”
Detectives ask anyone with information about the above crimes to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.