Pensacola police arrest 4 teens in connection to string of antisemitic vandalism

The Pensacola Police Department has made four arrests in the recent antisemitic vandalism spree throughout the city.

Officers arrested four teenagers as suspects who allegedly threw antisemitic language-covered bricks into two Jewish centers and covered additional local buildings with antisemitic graffiti.

Here are their charges:

  • 17-year-old male: Seven counts of felony criminal mischief enhanced to a hate crime, one count of misdemeanor criminal mischief and one count of felony trespassing in a construction zone.
  • 15-year-old male: Seven counts of felony criminal mischief enhanced to a hate crime, one count of misdemeanor criminal mischief and one count of felony trespassing in a construction zone.
  • 16-year-old male: Four counts of felony criminal mischief enhanced to a hate crime and one count of trespassing in a construction zone.
  • Kessler Alexander Ferry, 18: One count of felony criminal mischief enhanced to a hate crime.

“The extra hard work of investigators and many others in the Pensacola Police Department paid off today,” PPD Chief Eric Randall said in the release. “We hope that these arrests can bring comfort and closure not only to those in our Jewish community, but to all citizens of this great city.”

Mayor D.C. Reeves also added that “we will not tolerate hate crimes in the city of Pensacola.”

Temple Beth El vandalism:Pensacola Jewish temple hit with bricks in fourth antisemitic incident in 2 weeks

Chabad Jewish Center incident:Swastika-covered brick hurled through window of Pensacola’s Chabad Jewish Center

Additional arrests in the case are possible, the release notes.

There have been a slew of antisemitic vandalism incidents throughout the city of Pensacola and Escambia County, including three separate incidents in two days.

Thursday night the Pensacola Liberation Center had antisemitic symbols spray-painted across its building, according to representative Deshawn McKenzie, and members began cleaning it up Thursday. McKenzie told the News Journal that the building is meant as a community space for members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

“We stand in solidarity with the Jewish Community Center and Muslim Community Center,” he told the News Journal. “We stand against antisemitism.”

Multiple Jewish centers and an Islamic center have been vandalized in recent days and weeks, including the Al-Islam Dawah Center Wednesday night, according to PPD spokesperson Mike Wood. Members found antisemitic spray paint on the front door of the center.

On July 28, two bricks were thrown through a bathroom window of Temple Beth El, and on July 21 a brick with swastikas, “No Jews” and “WLM,” or White Lives Matter, scribbled on it was thrown through the window of Chabad Jewish Center while two visiting rabbis were preparing dinner in the kitchen.

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson told the News Journal they responded to an antisemitic incident at the Pensacola Navy Lodge Thursday night. Further information was not released.

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