Nassau Community College swastika suspect arrested

Nassau Community College swastika suspect arrested
Jasskirat Saini. (Photo from Nassau County Police Department

Nassau County police arrested a Plainview man Tuesday for allegedly vandalizing buildings at Nassau Community College with more than 100 swastikas and anti-Semitic messages.

Jasskirat Saini, 20, most recently drew two swastikas and the letters “KKK” on Tuesday at the Garden City college, where he is a student, police said. Those were among 110 drawings Saini allegedly made in 12 different incidents, Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said.

Saini was arraigned Wednesday on 12 counts of felony aggravated harassment. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

“These crimes strike at the core values of the university, and for that matter, they strike at the core values of any civilized society,” Krumpter said Tuesday at a news conference.

An NCC professor last Friday reported multiple swastikas, the German Nazi Party’s emblem, in a men’s bathroom on the lower level of the G building, which houses the anthropology, sociology, economics, criminal justice and other academic departments.

Since October, police have found several more swastikas, along with the words “Germany” and “Heil Hitler.”

Police viewed surveillance video from the college and are “very confident” Saini is responsible for all the graffiti, Krumpter said.

Saini surrendered to police at the 3rd Precinct in Williston Park after he was asked to come there for questioning, Krumpter said.

The graffiti was allegedly motivated by Saini’s belief that Jewish people in his Plainview neighborhood were harassing him, Krumpter said.

Despite this rash of graffiti, reported bias crimes in Nassau County are down to 57 so far this year from 62 over the same period in 2015, a 6 percent drop, Krumpter said.

The numbers stand in contrast to New York City’s spike in hate crimes since Republican President-elect Donald Trump was elected in November.

“We have not seen any spike out of the ordinary related to bias crimes over the last two months since the election,” Krumpter said.

Police are still seeking the culprits of other anti-Semitic graffiti on the North Shore.

Officers found five swastikas drawn in snow on Saturday at three residences on Fairfield Avenue in Mineola, police said in a news release.

Police also found swastikas, racist phrases and the words “make America white again” — a phrase similar to Trump’s campaign slogan “make America great again” — spray-painted on sidewalks on Washington Avenue and Elm Street in Mineola on Dec. 1.

A student at Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington found a swastika in a boys bathroom there on Nov. 17.

Twenty-four of New York City’s 43 hate crimes reported in November targeted Jews, the New York Daily News reported. Only 20 total hate crimes were reported in November 2015.

Nassau County had a Jewish population of 255,900 in 2011, concentrated in places such as Great Neck, Roslyn and Port Washington, according to the Jewish Community Study of New York.

Jews are often seen as “the other who has made it,” a group separate from the rest of society that also has power and control over institutions, said Rabbi Randy Sheinberg of Temple Tikvah in New Hyde Park.

The local anti-Semitic crimes are “all the more upsetting” given that New York’s large Jewish population has lived “in harmony” with everyone else, Sheinberg said.

“What has happened as a result of the political season, particularly the presidential campaign, is that permission has been given to speak out loud and to express out loud what I think had perhaps been some latent feelings, and it’s also, I think, stoked some flames,” Sheinberg said, referring to Trump’s failure to quickly condemn hate speech from his supporters and his initial silence about hate crimes committed in his name.

In a November interview with “60 Minutes,” Trump said he was “saddened” to hear of those crimes and told the perpetrators to “stop it.”

Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said he is unsure whether Trump is responsible for the recent bias crimes, but the intense media attention on them may have spurred more.

“I think the more that it’s sensationalized, I think the more people are looking to copycat it,” Strauss said.

Reach reporter Noah Manskar by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 516.307.1045 x204. Also follow us on Twitter @noahmanskar and Facebook at

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