Chandler police arrest suspects in 2016 vandalism case involving menorah, swastika
PHOENIX — Police have arrested four suspects in connection to a 2016 vandalism case involving a menorah that was destroyed and disfigured into a swastika during Hanukkah.
Sgt. Daniel Mejia, a spokesperson for the Chandler Police Department, said four suspects — one adult male, 19-year-old Clive Jamar Wilson, and three male juveniles — were arrested Friday in connection to the incident.
The suspects have been charged with one count of criminal trespassing and one count of aggravated criminal damage, both of which are felony charges.
On Dec. 30, 2016, a family in Chandler woke up to their menorah in their front yard, which was made of PVC pile, disfigured into a swastika. Some parts of the menorah were taken away entirely.
The mother of the family, Naomi Ellis, wrote about the incident on Facebook, which quickly went viral.
“I’m not sure I quite understand it myself, nor have I ever understood racism or prejudice in any form,” Naomi wrote. “How can people can be filled with so much hate and violence? To think that someone would make such an effort to hurt and vandalize a family, is downright sickening.”
It was not the only vandalism incident in the Phoenix-area with anti-Semitic ties during Hanukkah in 2016.
On the first day of Hanukkah, the menorah at Temple Beth Shalom and Jewish Community Center of the Northwest Valley was damaged and disfigured. There was also damage reported to a Holocaust memorial and a basketball hoop.
There have been no suspect or suspects arrested in the incident.