Several anti-Semitic acts of vandalism at an off campus apartment complex near UCF have prompted a sheriff’s investigation and left a student deeply concerned.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is investigating anti-Semitic vandalism at the University House apartment complex located on Alafaya Trail near the University of Central Florida, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, deputies found a total of 11 swastikas carved into hallway walls at the apartment complex after receiving a call from a Jewish student who lives there.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that a 21-year-old UCF student said that three weeks earlier someone destroyed her Mezuzah on her door and she later went on to find the symbols around the complex.
“It was upsetting. I cried. I didn’t sleep very much that night,” the student told the Orlando Sentinel. “The Mezuzah says a Jewish person lives here. It’s suppose to keep you safe.”
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the student called the Orange County Sheriff’s Office who came to investigate but told her the vandalism didn’t qualify as a hate crime because they didn’t individually target her.
The police report, obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, said that swastikas of various sizes were carved into the wall, possibly from a car key.
University House management released a statement to residents Tuesday, commenting on the vandalism.
We want to share our sincerest concern regarding a recent act of vandalism within our community. Acts of vandalism are not tolerated by University House, including acts with such a hateful intent. Our team understands your frustration as this disrupts the positive community environment we strive to build and maintain.
Immediate efforts were taken to repair the property. However, additional work will be completed tomorrow to fully repair the damage. We sincerely apologize to the resident who brought this to our attention and to all residents who were affected by this hateful act.
University House “prohibits and does not tolerate any form of verbal and written abuse, threats, coercion, physical or verbal harassment, intimidation, violence against another person or their property, or causing the apprehension of physical or verbal harm to any residents,” as stated in the code of conduct section of our handbook. Residents and guests are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the code of conduct or risk fines, lease termination and possible criminal action.
As you know, additional roving patrols and security cameras were recently instituted on the property. In light of this recent vandalism, additional measures are being taken and we are working with law enforcement to help identify those responsible.
We encourage all residents to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior and to please come forward and let University House Management know if you have information related to any of these incidents. Any information that leads to an arrest of the person(s) responsible will receive a reward of $500.
Thank you for your patience as we work to resolve this issue.
University House Management
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