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The Schmooze

Man Arrested in Swastika Branding

This is just disturbing. According to the AP, three men in their 20s were charged with kidnapping and aggravated battery after they kidnapped a 22-year-old mentally challenged man and branded a swastika into his arm with a heated coathanger.

The article says the men, Jesse Sanford, William Hatch and Paul Beebe — all in their 20s — found the man at a Navajo Indian reservation in New Mexico on April 29 and drove him to an apartment, where the abuse occurred.

“An article in the Famington Daily Times says, “The words White Power were written on the back of the victim’s neck and two horns were drawn with red marker on the victim’s face above his eyebrows.” It goes on: “Officials are calling the incident a hate crime.”

Farmington Police Sgt. Robert Perez said in the article that the trio “appear to be associated in some fashion to the white supremacist movement.”

Although the swastika shape has been used by some Native Americans — the Navajo used the image to represent a healing ritual — we can’t help but wonder if they thought he was Jewish.

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