For the second time in 18 months, a Jewish community center in Fairfax County was damaged with spray-painted swastikas on the exterior walls. The swastikas were discovered early Saturday, said David Yaffe, president of the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia's Board.
Yaffe said 19 swastikas on the walls near the entrance to the 8900 block were painted by Little River Turnpike in Annandale.
"We were shocked when this happened for the first time, so we're not shocked that it happened again, but we're deeply disappointed," Yaffe said. "We know that this does not reflect the feelings of the local community or community in Northern Virginia, but it is sad that this will happen in 2018."
Fairfax police were called to the center shortly after 8 pm An investigation is in progress. The police said surveillance video showed a suspect sprinkled the exterior of the building around 4:30 am. No further damage was reported. Still photos released by the police show a person wearing dark trousers and a dark shirt over a gray hoodie.
In April 2017, Dylan M. Mahone, a 20-year-old man from Annandale, was arrested and charged with hate crimes for defacing the community center, a nearby church, and a folk high school with anti-Semitic graffiti and stickers.
The Anti-Defamation League reported earlier this year that there were 1,986 anti-Semitic incidents in 2017 – nearly 60 percent higher than in 2016. The incidents ranged from physical assaults, bomb threats and graveyard dehousing to vandalism and harassment.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) Referred to the incident and increase in hate crimes on Twitter, saying that such actions should be "answered with heavy condemnation and an abundance of love and unity."
The Fairfax Police asks everyone with information to contact the Mason District Police Station at number 703- 256-8035. Tips can be submitted anonymously to Crime Solvers by visiting fairfaxcrimesolvers.org or by calling 1-866-411-TIPS.