Community Board 6 Housing, Homeless and Human Rights committee chair Carin van der Donk, Audacia Ray, Michael Cohen, Angela Fernandez, Council Member Mark Levine, Calee Prindle and Franck Joseph (Photo courtesy of Community Board 6)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Community Board 6 hosted a panel on the prevention of hate crimes at the end of last month, shortly before the de Blasio administration announced that the newly-formed Office of Hate Crime Prevention will be opening sooner than anticipated.
Councilmember Mark Levine, who represents Northern Manhattan and sponsored the legislation to open the office, announced on Tuesday that the office would be opening this summer. It was originally scheduled to open in November.
“The epidemic of hate crimes sweeping across the country is a national crisis,” Levine said. “We have an obligation to guarantee the safety and security of every community that calls New York home.”
At the forum held at Baruch College on May 20, Levine thanked CB6’s Housing, Homeless and Human Rights committee for writing a resolution in support of the legislation regarding hate crimes prevention and education, the first board in the city to do so. CB6 adopted the resolution supporting the bill at the full board meeting in March.
Police are looking for a man wearing a Make America Great Again cap and matching shirt who pushed a fellow straphanger onto the train tracks after insulting his ethnicity.
The incident took place on Friday at around 8:15 p.m. when the suspect picked a fight with the 24-year-old victim as they rode a northbound 4 train approaching Union Square station. After making “multiple derogatory statements regarding the victim’s ethnicity,” cops said the suspect followed the victim as he left the train at Union Square and punched him on his head multiple times on the platform. He then pushed the victim onto the track bed before fleeing to the Brooklyn bound L train platform.
The victim’s friend and another person helped the victim back up to the platform and he was taken to the hospital for a wound on his head he got from falling onto the tracks.
The suspect is described as being black with a heavy build. Along with his red MAGA shirt and headwear, he had a black jacket on and jewelry around his neck.
The assault is being investigated as a hate crime and according to published reports, the victim was Hispanic.
Last week, a man wearing a MAGA cap was confronted by two men at the same subway station who stole his hat. When the victim tried to get it back, one of the men pulled out a knife and threatened him with it.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
The suspect is being investigated by the Hate Crimes Task Force.
The suspect is being investigated by the Hate Crimes Task Force.
Police are looking for a man who’s been scrawling swastikas and penises on doors in apartment buildings in NoMad, Chelsea and Lower Manhattan.
Police said the man began his crude graffiti spree on Sunday, November 26 at 7:30 p.m. when he strolled into a residential building on Madison Avenue and East 29th Street, went to the 48th floor and drew a swastika on two of the doors and a penis on another door. He added the tag “Max G was here” on another door.
On Tuesday, a black man who attacked three people in Union Square for being white, including one person who died as a result of his injuries, was sentenced to 25 years in a state prison.
The lengthy sentence for LaShawn Marten, 44, was in part due to the fact that the assaults were considered hate crimes.
He was found guilty on July 5, nearly four years after the incidents on September 4, 2013.
That afternoon, Marten, a regular chess player at Union Square Park, had stated he would “knock out” the next white person who passed him. Not long after this, a 62-year-old man, Jeffrey Babbitt, who was white, walked by, and Marten punched him in the face. Babbitt, who got knocked down to the ground from the blow, hit his head hard on the pavement.
Moments later, when a 19-year-old bystander (also white) tried to help Babbit, Marten punched him in the face as well. When a third Good Samaritan, a 47-year-old man tried to help, Marten hit him in the head so hard that he was knocked unconscious.
The community has been seeing its fair share too. Yesterday, Council Member Dan Garodnick snapped a photo of anti-semitic graffiti across from Stuyvesant Town.
“Hate crimes spiking since the election,” Garodnick tweeted on Monday. “This graffiti now appears across from StuyTown & local synagogue (Town and Village). We can’t let this become the new normal.”
Garodnick later said he had never before seen anti-Semitic graffiti in the community. He also said this was the only recent incident he was aware of.
The graffiti, above the Papaya hot dog storefront on First Avenue and 14th Street, depicts the spray painted words “Jew man” accompanied by crude drawings of smiley faces with side locks, which are worn by religious Jewish men. It was spray painted large enough to be easily seen from across the street.
Additionally, a Muslim Baruch College student was harassed on the train at 23rd Street last weekend by men who were trying to grab her hijab and yelling “Donald Trump” and anti-Muslim slurs, according to a Daily News report.
UPDATE: According to a Stuy Town resident, the graffiti didn’t happen post-election. The tipster told T&V she first spotted the spray-painted sentiment in the middle of October.
State Senator Brad Hoylman with other elected officials representing the Greenwich Village area, the heads of two universities and local clergy members (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
Meanwhile, pols denounce hate crime in Village
By Sabina Mollot
Following State Senator Brad Hoylman’s posting of a swastika found in his building on Twitter, which was picked up by a few news outlets, Hoylman’s Twitter was been hit with a number of trolling tweets, including a few that called the senator a liar.
“It is obvious who is facilitating this nonsense. When we find the evidence, you will be replaced for #LYING,” wrote one.
User “Slavic Harvest” wrote, “You carved it yourself you Jew hahahahaha.”
A user with the handle “Otto Hofler” chimed in, “Probably your local rabbi did it.”
When another user shot back at this comment to say, “It makes me happy my atheist dad killed so many Nazis,” “Hofler” tweeted, “Sad? We in the White House now.”
Photo taken by State Senator Brad Hoylman of a swastika found at his building
By Sabina Mollot
Only days after dorm rooms at the New School were defaced with swastikas, the Nazi symbol was carved into a door at a West Village building where State Senator Brad Hoylman lives.
Two swastikas were discovered by one of Hoylman’s neighbors on the second floor of the building on Tuesday.
Hoylman is gay and has a Jewish husband and daughter. He also has plans to convert to Judaism. However, he doesn’t believe the swastikas were directed at him, since they were on the elevator door on a floor he doesn’t live on. They’ve since been sanded down and removed.
The building does have surveillance cameras, which Hoylman said he hopes will help catch the perpetrator. The incident is being investigated by police and Mayor Bill de Blasio has also taken notice. After seeing Hoylman post on Twitter about the incident, de Blasio responded to say the city had no tolerance for anti-Semitic acts.
“@bradhoylman, millions of New Yorkers stand with you tonight against anti-Semitism. Hate has no place in our city #notinourcity,” he tweeted.
Immaculate Conception Church (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Brooklyn resident Michael Torres is being charged with burglary and criminal mischief to be prosecuted as hate crimes after police said that the 20-year-old vandalized Immaculate Conception Church at 414 East 14th Street last Wednesday night.
Local blog Bedford and Bowery originally reported the vandalism last Thursday, noting that Torres was caught on camera leaving an AA meeting at the church earlier that day and reportedly returned later in the evening, forcing the front door open. John Matcovich, the parish manager at the church, said that the side doors of the church were also badly damaged, but from the inside.
“He must have thought those were rooms but they’re just other doors that lead back outside, to the courtyard,” Matcovich said.
Torres had allegedly used the end of an incense holder as a battering ram to break through the side doors. Although the church is in the process of sorting out the cost of the damage, Matcovich said that the administrators made sure to fix and secure the doors as soon as possible.
In addition to the doors, the vandalism was originally reported to cost $100,000 in damage but Matcovich said that once everything is finalized with the insurance company, it will likely be more. He noted that all 14 of the Stations of the Cross had been destroyed and those alone were worth more than $3,000 each.
The blog noted that a number of statues at the church were destroyed, including a plaster statue of the Virgin Mary that was over a hundred years old and had been moved from Mary Help of Christians shortly before it was demolished in 2013. An icon depicting the Virgin Mary holding a baby Jesus was also destroyed.
Matcovich noted that due to the mess from the vandalism, mass had to be held in the parish basement on Thursday but he said that partially due to the quick work of the insurance company in documenting the damage, the church was able to reopen on Friday.
“That was really important to us,” Matcovich said.
Matcovich will be putting a list together for the insurance company once church officials know what can’t be salvaged, but he said that a fund is being set up if community residents or parishioners want to contribute. Checks can be made out to Immaculate Conception Church but with a note in the memo that the donation is for the vandalism relief fund.
Bedford and Bowery noted that Torres was caught by police after he found himself locked inside the church’s cloister and he was arrested shortly before 11 p.m. He was being held on $10,000 bail or bond but the Department of Corrections said that he was released on Tuesday because his bail had been paid.
Torres’ attorney Steve Hoffman said that his client was currently being psychiatrically evaluated and since Torres made bail, his family has been taking care of him.
“We’re hopeful that he gets the help that he clearly needs,” Hoffman said.