PHILADELPHIA (Apr. 30)
Three men, one of whom is Jewish, have been arrested for vandalizing a predominantly Jewish country club in Cherry Hill, NJ. They could face five years in jail and/or $7,500 in fines, according to Camden County, NJ Prosecutor Sam Asbell, whose office is now preparing the case for the county grand jury.
Police in Cherry Hill, where the vandalized Woodcrest Country Club is located, arrested the three men on April 23 and charged them with creating fear of bodily violence and criminal mischief for their attack on the club on April 18.
Maintenance workers discovered anti-Semitic slurs and obscenities spray-painted on the club’s main building, on the sidewalk and on a car left overnight at the club. Observers said it was the worst act of anti-Semitic vandalism in years. Black swastikas were also painted on the club’s golf course.
After receiving a tip, police arrested Cherry Hill residents Matthew Tannenbaum, 18, and Todd Munro, 19, and Lindenwold resident Jae Kim, 21, according to Cherry Hill police sergeant Frank Ward. All were former employees of the club. Two of the suspects were released on $5,000 bail and one on his own recognizance.
Asbell said the charge against the three falls under the category of ethnically or racially motivated vandalism, which under New Jersey law is a felony and carries the maximum five-year sentence. He said he did not know when the trial would begin.
SHOCKED THAT ONE VANDAL WAS JEWISH
Woodcrest general manager Robert Sierra expressed “shock” that one of the suspects, Tannenbaum, was Jewish. “Not being a Jew, I just didn’t think a Jewish person could be involved in something like this.”
Alan Respier, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Southern New Jersey, called Tannenbaum’s involvement “very disconcerting.”
“I don’t know what was going through his mind,” said Respier, adding that because he was Jewish “doesn’t mitigate the fact that he took part in anti-Semitic vandalism and terrorism. The law has to apply to him as it does to anyone who engages in such acts.”