ADL Commends Hightstown Police on Arrest Following Hate Crimes
West Orange, NJ, February 8, 2008…The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today commended the Hightstown Police Department for its arrest of Nikolai Afanassenkov, Max Drazdik and Nicholas Kurahara for their role in a spree of anti-Semitic vandalism that hit three New Jersey towns in January, 2008.
According to police, the college students were responsible for spray-painting swastikas, anti-Semitic slogans and profanity on statues and signs in East Windsor, Hightstown and Roosevelt last month.
Etzion Neuer, Director of ADL's New Jersey Office, issued the following statement:
ADL commends the Hightstown Police Department for their thorough work leading to the apprehension of these three individuals. Law enforcement worked diligently to obtain information from the public and then examined surveillance cameras at a nearby store which showed the suspects purchasing spray paint.
Hate crimes are significant and demand a priority response because of their special emotional and psychological impact on an entire community. Although we are concerned by the number of incidents of hate in New Jersey, we take some solace in that New Jersey law enforcement treats hate crimes very seriously and demonstrates a high level of responsiveness.
ADL's annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents showed that New Jersey reported the second-highest number of incidents in the United States in 2006.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.