Swastikas, Tagging Drawn on Maspeth Church

The pastor of Trinity-St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Maspeth found this graffiti and other drawings — including one depicting a lit bomb — on the doors, windows and walls of church buildings. Photo courtesy of Terrance L. Weber.

At least one vandal drew multiple swastikas on a Lutheran church in Maspeth early in the morning on Wednesday, Feb. 29.

Now police are searching for any indication of who may have tagged the building’s exterior with the racist symbols.

The target was Trinity-St. Andrews Lutheran Church near 60th Street and 60th Avenue.

When Rev. Terrence L. Weber arrived early in the morning for a 9 a.m. mass, he found a silver drawing on the church office door.

“There at eye level was a Star of David, and inside the Star of David was a swastika,” Weber said.

He immediately checked the main church door and found nothing. On the parish house door, however, he found another Star of David with a swastika inside.

On the door to the gymnasium, he found tagging in the same silver color and a lit bomb drawn on a nearby window.

Initially shocked, Weber said that feeling quickly faded to something different as he found all the markings.

“I guess there was more sorrow that we’ve come to that in this day and age where people are just so hurtful and they use offensive symbols perhaps not even knowing what they all mean,” he said. “But we’ve come to a point where nothing is sacred any more.”

He found various other tagging, but the last piece of graffiti he found was a pornographic picture scribbled on the 60th Road side of the property.

“There was no outrage. There was more pity and just trying to understand what’s going on in that neighborhood,” Weber said.

Captain Michael Cody, commanding officer of the 104th Precinct said a suspect or suspects drew on the church using a felt-tipped marker.

Officers did not immediately recognize any tags or a pattern, but the precinct’s graffiti officer will join the detective squad to try to track down any leads.

The offensive drawings were covered up on Thursday, March 1, Weber said, and the church has been in touch with the 104 as the investigation continues.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley was quick to condemn the act.

“The swastikas drawn on Trinity St. Andrews Lutheran Church promote hate and simply cannot be tolerated in our community. This act is an insult to our country’s religious freedoms, and I want to thank the 104th Precinct, which has enlisted the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force to investigate, for its prompt attention to this matter.”

In the meantime, Cody asked anyone with information to contact the 104th at (718) 386-3004 or the Crime Stoppers tip line at 1-800-577-TIPS.

By Jeremiah Dobruck

j.dobruck@theforumnewsgroup.com

 

Still quiet here.sas

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