NYPD officers have arrested a Queens man on hate crime charges in connection with a string of antisemitic vandalism aimed at a synagogue in Rego Park.
??The individual wanted for committing multiple Hate Crimes throughout our 112 precinct community has been apprehended. We thank everyone for all of their hard work in making sure this individual was apprehended!?? pic.twitter.com/GlYBvWx3qI
— NYPD 112th Precinct (@NYPD112Pct) March 27, 2023
Forest Hills resident Antoine Blount, 34, was arrested Monday on nine counts of aggravated harassment and three counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief as a hate crime after a tipster led police to his door.
He is currently awaiting arraignment.
Blount is alleged to have etched two swastikas on a sidewalk near the NYPD 112th precinct station on March 18.
Two days later, he etched two more swastikas into the sidewalk in front of Stephen A. Halsey Junior High School. That same night, he engraved another swastika on an apartment building on Queens Boulevard.
The next morning, Blount allegedly etched another swastika into the concrete of a residential building on 72nd Drive, police said.
He followed that incident with another, the next afternoon, marking up the Reform Temple of Forest Hills.
Blount was seen an hour later scrawling another swastika on a residential building on Austin Street, but fled before police reached the site.
He then travelled to Kew Gardens Hills, where he drew a swastika last Thursday and again on Friday, on the sidewalk along Main Street near 70th Road.
Blount’s final vandalism allegedly took place around midday last Friday, when he drew two swastikas on the sidewalk in front of Queens College on Kissena Boulevard, according to Yahoo! News.
It’s not clear what started the hateful spree.
Anti-Defamation League spokesperson Scott Richman told CBS News last week that social media holds a great deal of responsibility for the upswing in antisemitism.
“Facebook announced in October 2020 that they would no longer allow Holocaust denial on their site,” Richman pointed out.
“Yet if you go to their site, you will find plenty of instances of Holocaust denial.”