A Huntington man was arrested Tuesday and charged with a hate crime after a sign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was vandalized and marked with a swastika.
Hate Crimes Unit detectives arrested Vincent J. Mckie, 41, outside his home on Oakwood Road and charged him with Aggravated Harassment 1st Degree, a hate crime, and Criminal Mischief 4th Degree. He will be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on a later date.
A swastika, “187,” and the word “Gambino,” were found painted onto a Zeldin campaign sign at the corner of West Pulaski Road and Oakwood Road in Huntington Station, two days earlier.
Zeldin, who is Jewish, condemned the vandalism when it was discovered, saying,“In the United States, we settle our scores at the ballot box, and this type of raw hate must never have any home on Long Island or anywhere else in our state and country. I am thankful for the Suffolk County Police Department as they work to identify the perpetrators. We will not let this vandalism deter us from our rescue mission to save our state.”
And Huntington Republican chairman Tom McNally wrote, “The antisemitic and threatening graffiti found on the campaign signs of Congressman Lee Zeldin on Pulaski Road in the Town of Huntington is shocking and disturbing.
“As a Huntington resident, I have long taken pride in our wonderful town and the special people who live here. The hateful act of painting swastikas and symbols associated with death threats is disgusting conduct that has no place in our community.”
Zeldin won the Republican nomination Tuesday and will compete against New York Gov. Kathy Hochul for the top job in November.