Someone spray-painted swastikas on a Florida synagogue this week


  • Photo via Sarasota County Sheriff's Office/Facebook
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a man who spray-painted swastikas on a Jewish temple.

Surveillance images released Friday showed a young white man vandalizing Temple Emanu-El, 151 McIntosh Road in Sarasota.

According to the sheriff’s department, the vandal caused approximately $5,000 in damages.

Authorities believe the suspect is likely between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet, 1 inch tall, and was wearing a dark baseball cap, a short-sleeved button-up shirt, blue jeans and flip-flops when he desecrated the temple. He is also clean-shaven.

If you have any information about the suspect, authorities are asking that you call the sheriff's office criminal investigations section at 941=861-4900 or 941-861-4928.
A 2019 study from the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism showed that from 2017-2018, Florida registered 197 incidents from extremist groups, 98 of which involved acts of anti-Semitism. Tampa alone was responsible for 22 of those incidents.

Last January, swastikas and other graffiti were discovered spray-painted on signs at a coffee shop in South Tampa, and last June two teenagers were arrested in connection with a swastika that was spray-painted in the parking garage of the Bayshore Regency Condominiums, which is less than a mile from the Jewish Community Center Preschool of South Tampa.

This story originally appeared in our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
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