West Orange Swastika Sidewalk Artist Traced Back to Montclair Biker

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WEST ORANGE, NJ – A lingering West Orange antisemitic incident has been solved.

This past December 18th, 2021 a jogger discovered 3 swastikas drawn on the sidewalk at the B’nai Shalom Temple at 300 Pleasant Valley Way. Immediately following the incident, the West Orange Police launched an investigation. Although there was little to go on initially, a lengthy and persistent investigation has now resulted in an arrest. The identification of the motorcycle as a 2019 Honda CBR300R captured on security cameras ultimately lead to a break in the case. WOPD detectives were subsequently able to piece together and trace the path the suspect took when fleeing the scene of the crime back to his home.

A search warrant was issued and Richard Blasko of Montclair was taken into custody last night and charged with the crime of Bias Intimidation and Harassment. Both the motorcycle and helmet seen in the surveillance video were discovered at the home. Blasko has no prior arrests related to this specific type of crime. This is believed to be a random isolated incident and there is no ongoing threat to public safety.

“We would like to applaud our criminal investigative division for their tireless efforts and also thank the public’s cooperation in providing information that helped move the investigation forward that lead to Blasko’s apprehension. All suspects are presumed innocent until proved guilty in a court of law,” the East Orange Police Department said in a statement.

Anyone with information regarding criminal investigations is urged to contact the West Orange Police non-emergency line at (973) 325 –4000.

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