By Christina Santucci
A northeast Queens lawmaker condemned what he called hate-filled vandalism in Bellerose, which was discovered by residents early Friday.
At least 16 cars were graffitied, some with swastika signs, near the intersection of 87th Avenue and Little Neck Parkway, state Sen, Tony Avella (D-Bayside) said.
Residents said police converged on the area Friday morning, as helicopters circled overhead throughout the morning and afternoon.
Several residents speculated that the graffiti was the work of teenagers and not meant as anti-Jewish messages.
“It’s probably kids being bored,” said Pete Sask, who has lived in the area for about 30 years.
“I’ve lived in the neighborhood a long time and I’ve never seen the cars marked up like that,” he said.
Neighbors also described the area as a melting pot and said they were surprised by the vandalism.
“It’s the United Nations and everyone gets along well,” said a 43-year Bellerose resident who did not want to be identified.
On Saturday, several swastikas were still visible on two vehicles on 87th Avenue and on the garage of a home. A police cruiser was stationed on the quiet street across from the graffitied vehicles.
“This is a despicable act of vandalism and those responsible for this heinous crime should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, including being possibly charged with a hate crime,” Avella said. “After speaking with police personnel, I am glad that they are vigorously investigating this crime and hopefully will catch the perpetrators as soon as possible.”
Reach Managing Editor Christina Santucci by phone at 718-260-4589 or by email at email@example.com.