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Long IslandCrime

Cops: Hate crime unit probing damage to vehicle in school lot

According to police the damage to a 2014 Ford Escape used for security operations was reported at about 7 a.m.

A Suffolk County police investigator near a security

A Suffolk County police investigator near a security vehicle that they say was damaged in the parking lot of Norwood Avenue Elementary School in Port Jefferson Station on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. Photo Credit: James Carbone

Authorities are investigating a possible hate crime that included a racial slur being found on a security vehicle Monday morning in the parking lot of a Port Jefferson Station elementary school, Suffolk County police said.

According to police the damage to a 2014 Ford Escape used for security operations was reported at about 7 a.m. and it is being investigated by the Suffolk County Police Hate Crime Unit.

In an emailed statement a police spokeswoman said, the SUV, parked at Norwood Avenue Elementary School, “was keyed, and sustained other damage including bumper damage and broken windshield wipers. A racial slur was also written on the vehicle in ketchup.”

Police said no further information was immediately available and did not specify the slur used.

A photograph shows a crime scene investigator recovering a large ketchup bottle in the playground of the school.

Comsewogue Deputy Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Quinn said she was unable to comment on the incident because it is under police investigation.

About 250 students attend the elementary school.

Before the incident a special board of education meeting “regarding school safety and security” had been scheduled for Monday night, according to the district’s website. It was still expected to be held at 7:30 p.m. in the high school’s auditorium.

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