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State police to aid in probe of swastika scrawled in Commack park

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed the state police hate crimes unit to offer help in investigating a swastika that was scrawled in black on a walking trail in a Commack park.

A 911 caller reported the swastika at Sunny Acres Park about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, said Suffolk police, who are looking into the graftiti. A spokesman for the State Police said its hate crimes task force has 116 investigators across the state, including four on Long Island. 

Cuomo called it an "atrocious act" that is the latest in a string of recent anti-Semitic acts across the state and nation, including a rabbi who was hurt this week at a Brooklyn park when someone threw a rock and construction material at his face and allegedly shouted racial slurs.

"I am appalled and disgusted to learn yet again that anti-Semitic, racist symbols are being used to intimidate our fellow New Yorkers - this time in Sunshine Acres Park in Commack," Cuomo said Wednesday in a statement.

"There is no place for hate in New York and the cowards behind these despicable acts should know their actions only serve to bring us closer together."

Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci said public safety patrols have been boosted in and around the park. Town workers covered the graffiti with green paint over the holiday weekend, then painted the trail black to try to match the asphalt.

"When you hear of an incident like this, it's always disturbing," said Lupinacci, who toured the park with town officials but did not find any evidence of who painted the graffiti. "We're not going to be intimidated. We're going to confront the hate and we have to teach the young people to accept others."

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