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Swastikas painted over on Powell’s Cove rocks

By Cynthia Koons

A few anti-Semitic symbols that were scrawled on rocks in Powell’s Cove last week have since been painted over in an effort to quickly eradicate hate messages from the College Point landscape.

When Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) learned Feb. 25 that swastikas were discovered painted on rocks in the park, he contacted the 109th Precinct and the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Within 24 hours of Avella’s call, the Parks Department sent employees to the scene to paint over the graffiti, which also included pentagrams, symbols commonly evoked by Satan worshipers. Several rocks in the park were defaced.

“This kind of behavior will not be tolerated,” Avella said in a statement. “Those who are responsible for these hate messages have committed a hate crime, and I have insisted that the police find and punish those involved to the fullest extent of the law.”

A police spokesman at the 109th Precinct said a graffiti complaint was filed on Wednesday and that any potential hate crime would be sent to the Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit.

“The residents of the community are shocked and horrified by these abhorrent hate symbols,” Avella said.

There have been sporadic reports of anti-Semitic symbols and phrases appearing on doors and synagogues in northeast Queens in recent months.

The councilman said the appearance of hate symbols is unusual in College Point.

“This is a peaceful neighborhood,” he said. “There is no place here for these sick individuals who would destroy this peace with their hatred and ignorance.”

Powell’s Cove is in an area of College Point by the Flushing Bay which is commonly inhabited by homeless people.

Reach reporter Cynthia Koons by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 141.

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