Nassau authorities said Monday they are investigating a swastika carved into an Oceanside sidewalk that may have been there for years.
A pedestrian spotted the 12-inch by 12-inch swastika etched into the concrete sidewalk in front of 3560 Oceanside Rd. and contacted the office of state Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach). Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun said police believe the hateful symbol has been on the sidewalk for a couple of years.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, speaking in Oceanside Monday, said the swastika would be removed from the sidewalk immediately.
“There is no place for anti-Semitism or this kind of hateful graffiti in Oceanside, in Nassau County, in our entire country," said Curran. "We denounce this act of vandalism and by the time today is over, it will be gone. We’re gonna grind it up and we’re going to get rid of it."
Kaminsky, citing the Oct. 27 synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh that claimed the lives of 11 worshippers, said, "We won't stand for this hate speech."
Meanwhile, in Long Beach, police on Monday were scouring surveillance cameras in the areas where six people were shot at with a BB gun in two incidents Saturday — including a group of young men studying at a yeshiva and a group of young women visiting the highly trafficked Long Beach boardwalk.
Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney said Monday afternoon that the investigation is ongoing and the police department is retrieving video data from cameras in the area, No arrests have been made.
Tangney said police are investigating whether the three male yeshiva students were targeted because of their faith, but said at this point -- because the three other victims were not Jewish -- investigators don't believe it was a hate crime.
"This appears to be a crime of opportunity," said Tangney. "Speaking to the officers assigned to the call, there were no other people out."
Tangney on Sunday said the police department had already stepped up patrols at all places of worship in the city following the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre and were looking into the possibility that the attacks were a hate crime.
On Saturday night at about 10 p.m., three young men — all yeshiva students – were targeted in a 4-minute span, police said.
The first victim was walking on Magnolia Boulevard when he heard popping sounds and felt a pellet penetrate the hat he was wearing, police said.
The second victim was walking on Riverside Boulevard at the intersection of Beech Street and was struck by a pellet in the ankle, police said. The third victim was shot at in the same intersection, but was not struck.
All three young men told police they saw the shots coming from a dark-colored SUV.
The first incident was reported to police at 12:07 a.m. Saturday, when three young women between the ages of 17 and 20 reported being shot at with a BB gun as they walked on a boardwalk ramp at Magnolia and Broadway. Two of the women were struck — one in the ankle and the other in the back. Neither suffered any injuries.