NEW CITY- The swastikas and racial slurs painted on 12 trees in a wooded area of Main Street have been painted over by the property owner, Allen Apfelbaum, on Tuesday.
Apfelbaum, builder of the Buckley Farms housing development, said the large swastikas remained in the wooded area for seven months while Clarkstown Police investigated. Police said they no longer needed the markings as evidence so they were covered by gray paint.
Apfelbaum called the police and spoke with Supervisor George Hoehmann after receiving a number of calls from people who wanted to help him remove the swastikas. Walkers regularly passed through the area and complained, Apfelbaum said.
Hoehmann called a meeting with the town’s rabbis and the Rockland Jewish Federation to discuss the swastikas and several other anti-Semitic incidents in Clarkstown, including the ignition of three M-98 fireworks outside the home of two rabbis on August 9th.
Hoehmann has directed Police Chief Captain Robert Mahon to continue to work on arrests for these incidents he calls “reprehensible”.
“I’m happy steps were taken to remove these symbols of hate,” Hoehmann said. “They have no place in Clarkstown and do not represent the character of our community.”
Democratic councilpersons Stephanie Hausner and Dan Caprara blasted Hoehmann for allowing the graffiti to remain so many months, even though it was at police request.
The hateful markings were located in the woods behind Cragmere Circle and Cranford Drive.