Gardens woman target of hate crime

By John Bachman - bio | email

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL (WFLX) - A local woman says it's just about the worst thing that anyone could do to her. She found anti-Semitic messages spray painted on her front door, and it's happened more than once.

"It was extremely shocking, extremely hurtful, one of the worst things I've ever seen," said Jodi, who, out of the fear, wants us only to use her first name. Her front door wears a fresh coat of paint because just last week someone spray painted a message on it, attacking Jodi and her faith.

It was just the latest in a line of hateful and hurtful things that have happened to her. It started when someone knocked down a mezuzah, a traditional Jewish blessing, from her front door. Then, there was a spray painted swastika, and the doormat, that someone soaked with urine, someone even put glue in door lock. "And it just seems to be escalating into more and more disgusting hateful things."

"This particular incident was one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen in my history at the anti defamation league. It sad, 'Fat Jewish', and the last word I can't even say," Andrew Rosenkranz of the Anti-Defamation League described what the door looked like before it was repainted.

Rosenkranz says, even though, hate crimes are up across the country, cases have been falling steadily here in Florida. But, at the same time, like with this case, he says, they are more serious. "The incidents just seem to be more disgusting, more in your face, if you will."

Especially for Jodi who says she now fears being alone in her own community. "It has halted me. All I wanted to do on my day off was stay in my house. Keep my door locked and my bedroom door locked and not move because I'm terrified."

The anti-defamation league says this case is clearly a hate crime and not just vandalism

The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department is investigating what happened. No one has been arrested yet.