Mayor: Swastika in Jackson Park to be Treated as Hate Crime


JACKSON-Today, the Jackson Township Police Department reported a depiction of a swastika and penis dragged into mulch at the township-owned Woodlane Park and Mayor Michael Reina condemned the incident.

“The Township of Jackson condemns the anti-semitic message that appeared recently in Woodlane Park,” Reina wrote in a press release. “The drawing of a swastika in the ground is shocking and unacceptable. Jackson Township will treat this as a hate crime and when found, the perpetrators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Police Chief Matthew Kunz confirmed the incident and provided more details.

“We have had a recent upswing in juvenile mischief in the park, to which we have responded by increasing patrols in the area,” Kunz said.  “A report was made to the police department regarding an image “dragged” into the mulch, but upon arrival of our officer, the image was gone, as well as was the reporting party.  Another parent was determined to have also observed and covered the images, along with the reporting party, without remaining on scene and talking to our officer.”

Kunz said the original caller, and the other parent, may have distributed the photographs, although the images were already removed prior to police arrival.

He added, that a follow-up with the reporting party this morning confirmed that the reporting party removed the images from the mulch prior to police arrival.

“The Jackson Township community will not be intimidated by such acts of hate.” Jackson Mayor Michael Reina said in the release. “We do not condone this behavior and it will not be tolerated. We accept everyone into our community and any message of hate is taken very seriously. I encourage anyone with information to come forward.”

The Jackson Township council, who has been accused by the Lakewood Vaad of running a “Karl Lueger Style” and “Nazi forerunner political campaign” against Orthodox Jews in the township did not respond to comment on park incident or the allegations made against the five-member committee by Lakewood’s influential organization.

Other council members also chose to decline comment on the incident.

The depiction of a penis next to a swastika might also represent a message of “f–k nazis”.

Residents are encouraged to report any suspicious activity immediately to the Jackson Police Department at 732-928-1111.

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