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Entries in Anti-Semitic (2)

Friday
Jul272012

Jewish Summer Camp in Pennsylvania 'Terrorized'; Five Charged

ABC News(WAYMART, Pa.) -- Five people face charges for allegedly terrorizing a Jewish summer camp in Pennsylvania.

In three separate episodes earlier this month, three adults and two juveniles caused property damage as they sped dangerously through Camp Bonim in Wayne County in a pickup truck, shouting anti-Semitic epithets and firing paintball guns at campers and staff, District Attorney Janine Edwards said in a press release. The three adults were arrested Wednesday morning and face felony and misdemeanor charges, including ethnic intimidation, terroristic threats and assault.

"These children were terrorized and in fear for their lives by the actions of this group," Edwards said in the release. "The vicious, cruel and obscene nature of the language hurled at the campers is unspeakable. Luckily none of the children suffered any serious physical injury, however, the emotional damage is immeasurable."

A judge arraigned Tyler Spencer, an 18-year-old from Linden, Tenn., and set his bail at $200,000. Spencer is accused of attempting to hit campers as he drove the Ford-350 pickup truck carrying the group. Spencer's alleged accomplices, Mark Trail, 21, and Cassandra Robertson, 18, both of Wayne County, were held on $20,000 bail. A 17-year-old and a 16-year-old face juvenile court cases.

In the first episode on July 14, Spencer told police that he drove in circles at a high speed to damage several fields on the Bonim campus, according to a police affidavit obtained by ABC News. When he returned with the same group of passengers the next day, Spencer said they ripped the camp's mailbox out of the ground before driving into the camp.

Police said Mark Trail then yelled racial slurs such as "You f***ing Jews go back where you came from" and "I'm gonna kill you, you f***ing Jews." During that episode, 18-year-old camper Alan Rosen was struck in the leg by a shot from a paintball gun while walking near the camp's synagogue, according to the affidavit, filed by Pennsylvania State Trooper John Decker.

At around 2:30 a.m. the next morning, campers saw the group doing "360s" in the camp's quad area before the truck came chasing after one of them, according to the affidavit. The campers told police the truck only missed them by about 10 feet.

On July 16, one day after the last incident at Camp Bonim, Spencer was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly driving into a counselor from the camp outside a local Turkey Hill store, breaking his leg. Spencer fled the scene, and was caught later that day by New York state police near Hancock, N.Y.

According to the affidavit, New York state police said the truck matched the description provided by Honesdale, Pa., police of the truck involved in the Camp Bonim crimes, and the truck's occupants admitted to both those crimes and the hit-and-run at the Turkey Hill. Trail and Robertson gave Pennsylvania state police written statements acknowledging their guilt in the incidents at the camp and store.

Presser said the camp community was relieved to learn that the group had been apprehended, and that he was impressed with the way law enforcement handled the case.

"They did whatever they could. We could see right away that they were working on it," he said. Wayne County is home to more than 30 summer camps, many of them drawing children from around the Northeast. District Attorney Edwards said in a statement to the press that her office "want[s] it known that Wayne County citizens value our camps. We want our camps to be safe."

The group is also being charged with damaging the grounds of an elementary school in Waymart, Pa.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May012012

Teacher Arrested After Grabbing Student During Anti-Semitic Rant

BananaStock/Thinkstock(BLUFFTON, S.C.) -- A South Carolina teacher is accused of grabbing a student and shoving him under a table last Wednesday as she delivered an anti-Semitic rant in her classroom, one her lawyer said was part of an interactive history lesson on World War II and the Holocaust.

Police in the town of Bluffton said Patricia Mulholland, a seventh-grade social studies teacher at Bluffton Middle School, grabbed a 12-year-old student by the collar as he was getting up to sharpen his pencil, dragged him 10 feet to the back of the classroom, and shoved him under a table, saying, "This is what the Nazis did to Jews. Burn Jew." Police would not say whether the student was Jewish.

The rant came after what police had described as unusual behavior by Mulholland last week. Four students in the class caught the teacher on cellphone videos talking about an upcoming talent show, using obscenities, and falling over as she attempted to sit down on a desk. But the anti-Semitic rant and grabbing of the student was not caught on video.

"There is evidence and indication that she may have been under the influence of drugs of some type," Chief David McAllister of the Bluffton Police Department told ABC News. "Even after the incident, she walked away from the student and ignored him when he asked to return to his seat."

McAllister said the student's parents came to the police department the next day to press charges against Mulholland. She was placed on administrative leave by the school district and turned herself in early Monday morning on misdemeanor charges of assault and battery and public disorderly conduct, but was released later that day.

In a statement released Tuesday, Mulholland's attorney claimed her actions "were intended as an interactive demonstration and not as an insult or intentional assault."

Jim Foster, public relations officer for the Beaufort County School District, told ABC News there had been a lesson on the Holocaust the day before the anti-Semitic rant.

While the student's parents proceed with legal action, the school district is conducting an internal investigation into Mulholland's actions to determine if she broke any professional conduct standards. McAllister said the student's parents did not learn about Mulholland's actions from school officials but were told by their son when he returned home from school.

On Tuesday, two school counselors conducted chat sessions with each classroom at Bluffton Middle School to explain to students why the incident was getting so much attention and why it was a sensitive matter. Foster said the superintendent had also reached out to Jewish community leaders to make certain they had the same facts as the school board and to assure them the board was taking the allegation seriously.

"This is not something that happens anymore," Foster told ABC News. "This is not something that happens in this community anymore, and I think the attention it's getting shows how exceedingly rare it is."

Mulholland has a hearing scheduled for May 22 and could face a maximum 30 days in prison and $500 fine. Foster said the internal investigation by the school board will not be complete until after the end of all legal proceedings.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio