The ugliness of anti-Semitism has sadly struck Putnam County.
The Sheriff’s Department is investigating the possible hate crime that was reported Wednesday by members of a Jewish family building a home in Nelsonville.
A Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said swastikas and messages of hatred were spray painted on the building’s walls at the construction site.
Sheriff Robert Langley said a “full investigation is underway,” adding “all resources have been deployed to apprehend those responsible for this heinous and shameful act.”
County Executive MaryEllen Odell said the incident was a “shameful that comes from within. This has nothing to do with politics but with the destruction of family and with the continuation of misunderstanding each other and failing to keeping an open mind. It must stop.”
When reminded that Putnam County has always been a melting pot where people of all faiths and religions live in harmony, Odell responded: “We still do. This act in Nelsonville is not an example of who Putnam County is. This crime came from hatred and was perpetuated by someone who is angry.”
Putnam Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra, who represents constituents in the greater Philipstown area, was also upset by the desecration: “This act will not be ignored. Putnam County is a place that has the reputation for welcoming and embracing all who come to live or visit. I am confident that we will rise and support each other to resolve this incident, moving forward stronger and even more caring towards each other.”
Meanwhile, Putnam County Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, a resident of Philipstown, described the anti-Semitism as abhorrent.
“Cold Spring is our home and we won’t let the hateful actions of one or more cowards intimidate our friends, our children or our community. Especially after last week’s shooting in Pittsburgh, we owe it to each other to stand together against this kind of bigotry and anti-Semitism,” said the congressman.
Maloney went onto say that the scrawling of anti-Semitic sayings took place “within the eyesight of my kids’ school where good people from all walks of life bring their children to learn tolerance and respect. Hate has no home in Cold Spring and the light of good people coming together will expose it.”
Maloney forecast that those responsible will be “brought to swift justice,” and he has asked anyone with information to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 225-4300. “The sooner this criminal is caught, the better,” said Maloney.