RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – A swastika and phallic symbol remained embedded in a Ridgewood sidewalk for two years before someone finally noticed, authorities said Tuesday.
The discovery -- along with those of two other swastikas that recently were found in town -- nonetheless was "very upsetting and disheartening," Police Chief Jacqueline Luthcke said.
Police responding to a criminal mischief call on residential North Van Dien Avenue found the markings, the chief said.
“It appears the damage occurred when the sidewalk was poured and drying, which was approximately two years ago,” she said.
Village workers removed the markings. Police were investigating.
“The Ridgewood Police Department understands the swastikas as symbols of the Nazis and their murderous hatred of Jews and other minorities,” the chief said. “Although none of the symbols discovered appear to be new, each was done at some point in time, which is unacceptable.
“The village has removed the offensive images each time one was found, hoping that no more need to be removed as no more should be discovered or created.
“The Ridgewood Police Department will press charges against anyone found to be defacing property, especially with such hateful symbols or words,” Luthcke vowed.
The chief also urged citizens to be “observant of their surroundings and feel comfortable in reporting what they see” to her department.
“All residents have a right to walk down the streets and not feel accosted by offensive symbols or words. Hate has no home here,” she said. “As a village, we need to stand together to help create a culture where all people are welcome and hatred is erased.”
ALSO SEE: Weeks after a judge released a man charged with beating and robbing an Uber driver, he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl in Ridgewood, authorities charged.
WANT MORE NEWS? Sign up for free news alerts or follow Daily Voice on Facebook.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.