2003-07-25 / Community

Rockaway Park Teen Nabbed In Bias Crime

By Howard Schwach
Rockaway Park Teen Nabbed In Bias Crime By Howard Schwach

A Rockaway Park 17-year-old was arrested on July 18 by police of the 100 Precinct on charges of spray- painting a Swastika and "Nazi’s Rule," on a neighborhood synagogue.

Jonathon Rivera, a resident of Beach 123 Street, was picked up by anti-crime officers after they viewed a videotape showing him defacing the Beth-El Synagogue at 121-16 Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

Rivera is being charged with a number of incidents involving the synagogue.

On March 22, the Nazi symbol and the words were spray-painted on the rear of the building. On June 18, words were again painted on the building, this time of a "non-bias nature," according to police.

At that time, the NYPD’s Technical Assistance Response Unit (TARU) placed a covert camera at the location.

That camera caught a young man once again spray-painting the building.

Anti-crime officers from the 100 Precinct reviewed the tapes and recognized Rivera from the neighborhood. They executed an arrest warrant for the youth and arrested him without incident.

Police say they are also seeking another youth who appears on the tape as well.

Rivera was charged by police with committing a bias crime and with criminal mischief.

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