An East Meadow man was charged Monday in connection with antisemitic messages found across from an elementary school, including over posters of Israeli hostages taken during the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, Nassau police said.

Sebastian Patino Caceres, 23, was charged with seven counts of third-degree criminal mischief, fourth-degree criminal mischief, possession of graffiti instruments, and seven counts of making graffiti, police said.

The vandalism, which comes only days after Iran launched a large-scale missile attack against Israel, amounts to the worst act of antisemitism in recent Hempstead Town history, Supervisor Don Clavin said at a news conference in front of the graffiti Monday afternoon.

The messages, including an expletive used to describe Israel and “Zionism is Nazism,” were found on white fencing belonging to multiple homeowners on Merrick Avenue, across from Barnum Woods Elementary School. They were written in 5-foot green bubble lettering on the fencing, set along a busy residential and commercial thoroughfare in a community with a large contingent of Jewish Long Islanders.

The vandal also scrawled “Free Palestine” over posters of the Israeli hostages that have been mounted on the fencing since the Oct. 7 attacks. Antisemitic messages also appeared on the sidewalk on Prospect Avenue.

After an investigation, police arrested Patino Caceres at about 4 p.m.

He will be arraigned Tuesday at First District Court in Hempstead.

The graffiti was removed Monday afternoon.

Nassau District Attorney Anne Donnelly, who attended the news conference along with dozens of local officials, community and religious leaders, said she would consider charging the perpetrator with a hate crime, allowing for upgraded felony charges.

“I am appalled,” she said. “I have never seen anything like this. When I walked up here past wall after wall of disgraceful messages I got more outraged at every moment. Hate crimes are not acceptable in our county.”

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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