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Staten Island Man Arrested After Painting Swastika On Neighbor’s Home

(JTA) — A man who painted a swastika on a Staten Island, New York family’s home was sentenced to six months in jail and five years’ probation.

James Rizzo Jr. told police at the time of his arrest in October 2017 that he knew the family was Jewish “because of the way they spoke.” He also painted the misspelled slur “Kyke” on the garage.

Rizzo, who served the jail time while awaiting trial, pleaded guilty last month in State Supreme court to third-degree criminal mischief as a hate crime, the Staten Island Advance reported.

He was seen on surveillance camera footage vandalizing the white door with black paint of a house located down the street from where he lived.

Debra Calabrese, who at the time of the incident had lived in the house for 14 years with her husband, who is not Jewish, originally told local media that she did not plan to paint over the graffiti because she wanted people to see it, despite urging by police to cover it up once their investigation was completed.

Following Rizzo’s arrest, a special clean-up team arrived at the home to power wash and repaint the garage door at the behest of local city councilmen.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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