Arrest Made After ‘Evil’ Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found In Montauk: DA

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MONTAUK, NY — An arrest has been made after a series of “evil and disgusting” anti-Semitic symbols were found in Montauk in past weeks.

According to Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney, who announced the news at a press event Tuesday, Michael Nicholoulias, 74, of Montauk, was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated harassment, a felony, and one count of fourth-degree criminal mischief as a hate crime, a felony.

In addition, he was charged with 10 counts of making graffiti and one count of possession of a graffiti instrument, Tierney said.

The arrest came after the discovery of the anti-Semitic graffiti wounded many in the Montauk community, sparking an outcry and leading to a “love rally” by residents trying to counter the hate with positivity.

“This arrest is the result of a tremendous collaborative effort between the East Hampton Town Police Department, the District Attorney’s office and the Suffolk County Police Department,” said East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo.

“I hope the arrest can give some peace and closure to the community, particularly during the upcoming holidays,” he said. “We understand any time a vulnerable portion of the population is victimized, it strikes a particular chord throughout the close-knit community, which was shocked and angry over these acts of hate.”

The symbols appeared over the past weeks: First, a sea of “evil and disgusting” anti-Semitic symbols were found at multiple Montauk town buildings and private businesses in October, East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc said.

“We live in a close-knit, caring, and inclusive community, but this morning we were greeted by evil and disgusting symbols of hatred which appeared in Montauk during the overnight hours,” he said. “I condemn these racist, anti-Semitic acts in the strongest possible terms.”

According to East Hampton Town Police, anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas were found on October 30 at about 7:19 a.m. at the Ditch Plains comfort station; two food trailers belonging to Blue Elm and Sweeney’s Weenies were tagged with swastikas and antisemitic terms.

Next, for the second time in two weeks, on November 11, anti-Semitic graffiti was found in Montauk, police said.

According to Suffolk County police, hate crimes unit detectives were investigating graffiti that was spray-painted on the outside of a building on South Emerson Avenue; the graffiti was discovered at 6:30 a.m., police said.

In addition, similar tags were discovered at Naturally Good Foods and Sausages Pizza, at the rear of the buildings, which are located on Main Street in the village of Montauk, police said.

Van Scoyoc added: “Civil society requires us to treat each other with respect, tolerance, and dignity, especially now as tensions are increasing due to conflicts in other parts of the world. Our police detectives’ unit is in the process of investigating the multiple crime scenes and conducting a full canvass of the areas involved for evidence to aid in the apprehension of the perpetrator or perpetrators. The investigation is in its early stages. Our community strongly rejects and rebukes these hateful acts.”

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