CALGARY, Canada (JTA) — An 18-year-old Canadian man was arrested for spray-painting anti-Semitic messages.
The suspect, who was arrested last week in Winnipeg, cannot be named under Canadian youth protection laws because he was 17 when the offenses occurred. Calgary police had issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for him last week. The racist graffiti on mailboxes, signs at synagogues and a memorial for Holocaust survivors, which surfaced last November, included swastikas and the words "kill Jews" and "six million more."
The teen is facing charges of mischief to property, as well as hate-related charges of mischief to a place of religious worship and inciting public hatred. Police believe the teen may have ties to local racist groups.
"We don’t tolerate hate crimes in Calgary. It’s as simple as that," Calgary police Chief Rick Hanson said last Friday, according to CBC News. "You start getting into that kind of nonsense, you can trust we’re going to go after you. We’re very appreciative of the attorney general in approving those charges. They’re the first time those charges have been laid in Calgary."
The Calgary Jewish Community Council praised the police for their diligence in the case.
"These charges send a very strong message that Calgary does not tolerate anti-Semitism or racism of any kind," Adam Singer, the council’s vice president, told CBC News.