Man Charged in Anti-Semitic Vandalism of State Rep’s Office

NEW YORK (AP) -

A New York man is accused of leaving an anti-Semitic note and vandalizing the office of a New York state assembly member earlier this month.

Karan Aggarwala, 53, is charged with harassment, criminal trespass and making graffiti for what authorities said was leaving a crude and anti-Semitic note and splashing white paint on the Manhattan district office of Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, the New York Post reported.

He was arrested Wednesday and released without bail, the newspaper reported.

Seawright asked the police to investigate the graffiti and note left on Aug. 11 as a hate crime.

In an interview with the newspaper, Aggarwala acknowledged leaving the note and graffiti and said he was angered by an alleged fundraising appeal Seawright’s office published that included a reference to a synagogue.
“You think it’s totally good practice for a secular state, a public political nominee, to present a religious affiliation on the same page as their fundraising effort?” Aggarwala told the newspaper.

Civil rights organizations tracked a record number of acts of vandalism, harassment or assaults motivated by anti-Semitic views in 2019, many of which took place in New York City. The most deadly attacks included the shootings at the Chabad of Poway synagogue near San Diego and at a kosher market in Jersey City.

Seawright hosted a virtual town hall on fighting anti-Semitism last month and held a similar forum last year after swastikas were found on a nearby fitness complex.