Police have arrested a juvenile after a swastika and other anti-Semitic vandalism was found in Highland Park, leading to city officials denouncing the acts of “hate and bigotry.”
The Highland Park Police Department was notified of the vandalism around 9:50 a.m. Friday in the 1900 block of Park Avenue West in the Hybernia neighborhood.
The city said that “acts of hate and bigotry are not tolerated” in Highland Park and the police department would be implementing additional patrols throughout the city.
A Highland Park resident said she came upon the vandalism while walking along a path near her home.
A swastika and the word “Jew” along with other depictions, including the Star of David, were left on a garbage can in painter’s tape.
The can is used to store food for the swans in the neighborhood.
City of Highland Park Communications Manager Amanda Bennett said Wednesday that increased police patrols led to the identification of a juvenile suspect.
The suspect was taken into custody on Tuesday and the police department is coordinating with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office on charges, Bennett said.
Bennett said further information could not be shared on the case due to the suspect being a juvenile.
“Quick reporting by residents allowed police officers to investigate and to identify a suspect,” Bennett added.
The City of Highland Park said they condemn “any racist, misogynistic, antisemitic, anti-LGBTQ+, ableist, or otherwise hate-motived groups or individuals who are threatening any form of violent acts, bigoted harassment on, or discrimination against our residents, visitors, or city staff.”
“This behavior is never acceptable, but it is particularly outrageous that any groups would further an agenda of hate and fear,” the city said in a statement.
The city also said they will take every possible action to ensure that residents, workers and visitors will not face discrimination or harassment.
“Violent threats have no place in our country, state, or city, and will not be tolerated. Reports of such hate crimes are of great concern. The Police Department will continue to work closely with partner agencies to ensure the continued safety of our community,” the city said in the statement.
“It is vitally important that our community holds to our values and stands together in denouncing all acts of bigotry and violence. Hate has no home in Highland Park or anywhere,” the city said.