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NYPD: Man sought for at least 6 incidents of antisemitic vandalism in Queens

Police seek suspect in antisemitic hate incidents across Queens
Police seek suspect in antisemitic hate incidents across Queens 01:58

NEW YORK -- The NYPD is searching for a man accused of being behind at least six recent antisemitic incidents in Queens

The man etched a swastika into the sidewalk near the entrance of a synagogue Wednesday afternoon in one of the alleged crimes, according to police. 

Police say the man is linked to at least half a dozen incidents across Forest Hills and Rego Park since March 18. 

"It's just very sad to have our sacred space violated by a symbol of hate," said Rabbi Mark Kaiserman of the Reform Temple of Forest Hills. 

"I just feel that there's a lot of hatred going on right now. I think there's a lot of anger, people are taking it out in the wrong way," said Kathleen Nesdale, who's lived in the borough for more than 60 years. 

MORE: Anti-Defamation League report shows New York with most antisemitic incidents in 2022

The targets in the spree of vandalism include the 112th Precinct, a junior high school, residential buildings and the Reform Temple of Forest Hills. 

Kaiserman hopes the suspect is caught and gets help. 

"And I hope we could come to find, help him learn more and get past what probably is his ignorance in what he is doing," Kaiserman said. 

Thursday, the Anti-Defamation League released a report showing 2022 saw the most antisemitic crimes in the U.S. since the organization started keeping track in 1979.

Scott Richman of the ADL pointed to social media radicalizing more white supremacists, who are behind most of the crimes. 

"Facebook announced in October 2020 that they would no longer allow Holocaust denial on their site. Yet if you go to their site, you will find plenty of instances of Holocaust denial," said Richman, who wants social media platforms to improve their tactics in combatting hate speech.

New York had the most antisemitic incidents, according to the ADL report. New York City accounted for more than 60 percent of incidents in the state. Incidents in Queens dropped from 2021 to 2022.

Nesdale told CBS2 the rise in hate is pushing her out of the city. 

"I think I wanna get out of New York. I never thought I'd say that, but I think I want out. There's just too much going on, too many random, just people punching people in the face, people being attacked, not robbed," Nesdale said.

"It's totally wrong," said John from Brooklyn. "It's just people being bad. It's not mental health issues. It's all kinds of issues." 

No arrests have been made. 

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