Swastika painted on Florida Jewish fraternity house

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A swastika was painted on a Jewish fraternity house at the University of Florida.

The swastika, which appeared on an outside wall of the under-construction Alpha Epsilon Pi house, was found last week and reported Sunday to the University of Florida police department, according to media reports.

Fraternity member Alex Mehler told the Gainsville Sun that the vandalism was "a blatant act of anti-Semitism" and said many members of the fraternity were "distraught." He said the Florida AEPi chapter has been working on building the house for three years and plans to move into the facility at the beginning of the next school year.

A campus police captain said the incident is being investigated as criminal mischief, a second-degree misdemeanor, but could be raised to a hate crime — which is a first-degree misdemeanor. He said the swastika painting appears to be an "isolated incident."

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