Seattle, WA, October 14, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the arrests of three teenagers accused of vandalizing a church and two schools, including the only Jewish high school on Mercer Island—Northwest Yeshiva High School – with anti-Semitic graffiti. King County prosecutors have charged all three defendants with malicious harassment, the state's hate crime law, for the September 17 vandalism, which included swastikas and references to gas chambers.
Hilary Bernstein, ADL Pacific Northwest Community Director, issued the following statement:
We applaud the Mercer Island Police Department for their vigorous work in locating and apprehending the suspects of this extensive vandalism, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney Office for pursuing hate crime charges.
This was a particularly egregious and disturbing case - the suspects reportedly covered the exterior wall of Northwest Yeshiva with swastikas and references to gas chambers on the day before Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days of the Jewish year.
Vandalism cases are notoriously difficult to investigate, with perpetrators often leaving few leads and little forensic evidence behind. It is reassuring that the authorities continue to treat such incidents with the seriousness they deserve.