Watch CBS News

Police seek vandal who spray-painted "genocide supporters" on Westchester County storefronts

Westchester community rallies around stores vandalized with hate speech
Westchester community rallies around stores vandalized with hate speech 01:46

SCARSDALE, N.Y. -- A Westchester County community is uniting against hate after someone spray-painted antisemitic graffiti on two storefronts on the New Rochelle-Scarsdale border.

It was a busy Thursday night at the Scoop Shop as supporters lined up to show co-owner Adam Deutsch they have his back.

"I'm feeling a lot of love from all the support, I got to tell you," he said.

"These are such good people," Scarsdale resident Kara Mendel said.

It came hours after Deutsch's ice cream shop, along with another business, were defaced with the words "genocide supporters" spray-painted across the storefronts.

Both of the targeted stores had "we stand with Israel" posters displayed in their front windows.

"It's scary to know that this is happening so close to home, and it affects me. It affects all of us," New Rochelle resident Michelle Kolodny said.

Watch Naveen Dhaliwal's report

Westchester Co. community supports business defaced with antisemitic graffiti 01:51

Police are looking for the alleged vandal, who was caught in surveillance video.

"They are cowards to come do this to innocent people," Deutsch said.

Earlier, more than 100 community members and local leaders rallied around the shops in the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center with "we stand with Israel" posters on full display.

"Hatred is hatred is hatred, and when you see antisemitism, you're seeing racism, you're seeing Islamophobia. You can't tolerate it in any of its forms, not any of its forms," Westchester County Executive George Latimer said.

"I do not want hate here, and that's what this is. Antisemitism has no place in Israel. It has no place in New York," said New York State Assemblymember Amy Paulin said.

The City of New Rochelle released the following statement:

"We are deeply saddened and disturbed by the recent acts of antisemitism targeting two of our city's storefronts. New Rochelle is built on the values of diversity, inclusion, and mutual respect. Hate crimes like the vandalization of Cheryl's Closet and Scoop Shop have no place in our community and we vehemently condemn this behavior. We stand by our Jewish citizens and will not tolerate these types of attacks. The City of New Rochelle and its police department are working in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, including the Westchester County District Attorney, and the Scarsdale Police Department. Our commitment to supporting their efforts in investigating this incident remains steadfast. Property security inspections for local business and synagogues have been conducted and are underway. We plan to monitor the situation closely and inform all residents of any updates." 

The rise in hate crimes across New York now has Gov. Kathy Hochul demanding that the legislature include making graffiti as a new category of hate crimes that can be punished.

"Why should New Yorkers have to change their everyday lives because of fear of a hate crime?" the governor said.

But despite the hurtful words on the Scoop Shop, Deutsch's determination to win the fight over evil is stronger than ever.

"A little graffiti is not going to scare us, so we're not going anywhere," he said.

The Westchester district attorney and the New Rochelle police are now looking into reports of antisemitic graffiti, and they are vowing to find the person responsible.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.