PEARL RIVER - Swastikas and other messages of hate were painted on at least three cars in Pearl River over the weekend.
Orangetown police say the three vehicles parked on North Lincoln Avenue were damaged between 11:30 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday.
Early Sunday morning, homeowner Steve Bernasconi woke up to slashed tires and graffiti on two cars in his driveway. There was also graffiti on the driveway itself. A third car that was parked on the street and doesn’t belong to Bernasconi also needs to have paint removed.
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Bernasconi says he doesn't understand why someone would slash the tires and spray-paint the cars. "It's hurtful, it's hateful,” he says. “Why would you put someone through this? There's no reason for it. It doesn't accomplish anything."
Police are classifying the vandalism as a hate crime because of the swastikas, racial epithets and profanity scrawled on the cars and the driveway.
Officials say they have some leads, but the investigation is in its early stages.