Friday, October 28, 2011
Yorktown, NY - Teen Accused of Scrawling Swastika on Poster Arrested
YORKTOWN — A 17-year-old boy who was accused in July of biting a store clerk and stealing beer faces a felony hate crime charge in the scrawling of a swastika on the campaign poster of a town justice.
Gerard Giblin of 182 Montross Road was charged with first-degree aggravated harassment after a three-day investigation by Officer Brian Nicholson and Yorktown High School Resource Officer Robert Doerr.
Nicholson worked from a description of Giblin provided by a witness, police said.
Ilan Gilbert, who is Jewish, was grateful to police for their quick work on the case.
"I don't have any intention to have anyone hurt by this incident, but I hope anyone that they did catch will learn from this," he said.
Giblin was to be arraigned Thursday afternoon before Justice Salvatore Lagonia, who also presided over Giblin's July arraignment.
Giblin was charged then with third-degree robbery, a felony, and resisting arrest, a misdemeanor, after police responded to the Chestnut Mobil station on Saw Mill River Road, where a clerk told them that a young male stole beer and bit and kicked the clerk while escaping. Giblin was arrested nearby.
The status of that case was not immediately available.
Gilbert discovered the swastika scrawled on his forehead in a photo as he collected his campaign materials from the lobby at Yorktown Stage after a debate with his opponent for re-election, Gary Raniolo.
He expressed concern afterward that the incident could have been politically motivated.
The incident follows a minor controversy over the scheduling of local youth sports games on Yom Kippur during the High Holy Days that Jewish leaders said showed insensitivity to Jewish players and their families.
In 2008, three teens were charged with breaking into and vandalizing a Mohegan Lake synagogue, scrawling a swastika and damaging religious items.
Raniolo, among others, denounced the latest incident.
"If the person or persons responsible for this heinous act were convicted and brought before me for sentencing," he said in a statement.
"I would do everything in my power as a judge and the extent that the law would allow, to convince them that this behavior is unacceptable in any way, shape or form, and will not be tolerated in Yorktown or anywhere else."
A message left for Giblin at his home was not immediately returned.