Police in Ontario County, which is situated near the finger lakes in western New York State, have arrested a 12-year old girl for spray painting swastikas on a local church and on the sides of buildings, NBC New York reports.
Possibly setting a record for the youngest person to be arrested for hate crimes (the 12-year-old is facing criminal charges…despite being 12 years old). There’s no word as to whether her parents are facing any kind of punishment.
However, the Ontario County police assured the media that the child is being charges with criminal mischief as a juvenile, and that the case would be handled in family court.
Last week, authorities found a swastika on Mt. Calvary Church in Geneva, a town located about an hour’s drive southeast of Rochester. Soon after, more swastikas began to appear, on garage doors and on a local armory.
Phrases like “white power” were also spray painted on garage doors.
Police say the young girl acted alone.
Crazily enough, this isn’t the first incident this year of a young child committing a heinous hate crime. The Washington Post reported on an incident in New Jersey where a 13-year-old boy assault a classmate and the classmate’s mother after taunting them to “go back behind the wall” (the two victims were Mexican).
The mother, Beronica Ruiz, suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized for two days after the attack. The assailant in this attack is facing one count each of aggravated assault and simple assault. He has been released to his parents, and the case is being handled in family court.
“This was a brutal hate crime, and it was committed by a 13-year-old,” Santiago said. “I don’t know what circumstances could give rise to a 13-year-old boy having such hate in his heart that he would commit this brutal attack and leave a woman essentially to die in front of her children without any remorse or any twinge of conscience,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz maintains that the assault could have been avoided if her child’s school had responded more aggressively to complaints that the 13-year-old was using racial slurs against her son.