Nazi Name Calling and Anti-Semitic Graffiti Appear in Lockport
By David R. Knoll
Irwin L."Jack" Serota, 69, a decorated Navy Seal combat veteran, trying, as he told the Niagara Falls Reporter, to live a quiet and retired life, awoke one day late last month to discover that sometime during the night someone defaced his Lockport home with a Nazi mantra, written in two-foot tall letters, "Get Out Jew," accompanied by a four-foot tall swastika, the symbol of the Nazi Party of Germany.
The words were scrawled across his white garage doors.
Serota is Jewish and Italian.
The Nazi-era threat was clearly visible from the street at the northwest corner of Locust and High Streets, where the combat vet lives alone with his two dogs.
Serota, born Dec. 30, 1943, during the height of the world war waged against Hitler, said he was shocked by the graffiti and by the fact that whoever did it, scaled his fence, and apparently used black spray paint to write on his garage doors, as he was asleep inside.
"The words are reminiscent of a terrible time thought by many to be buried in the mists of time," said Serota.
Recently Serota has had a share of trouble in this otherwise quiet neighborhood.
Serota said he had multiple burglaries at his home and, on Aug. 31, he thought he may have caught the thief and malicious graffiti sprayer and confronted him in front of his home.
According to police reports, officers were called to the scene and, when they arrived, they observed Serota singlehandedly confronting four individuals.
Apparently a man and his son were allegedly delivering papers near or at his home and Serota identified one of them as the man who had committed a larceny in his residence.
As the man denied it and walked back to his vehicle, Serota came from inside his fenced-in yard and went after him, grabbing his beard and attempted to throw a punch.
Two witnesses said they saw Serota physically attack both the man and his son and in turn Serota reportedly threatened everyone.
Serota allegedly said, "I will beat you until you’re (expletive) dead" and he continued to yell and curse, even as police arrived, and when they attempted to intervene, a clearly distraught Serota called everyone, including the officers, "Nazi’s."
The three "victims" completed harassment information and Serota was arrested and charged with three counts of second-degree harassment and disorderly conduct.
According to Serota, police beat him and he went to the hospital for treatment.
For whatever the reason and by unknown persons, a message that was delivered to some millions of Jews not so long ago was delivered to this war veteran.
Directed as it apparently was to an elderly, U. S. Navy Seal combat veteran, fiery as he is alleged to be, in the form of graffiti, seems the act of a coward.
What Serota said, what he said, to his accusers' faces.
Whoever it was who came in the dead of night, wrote in coward's paint, what they would not dare to say to the combat veteran's face.
After permitting the Reporter to photograph the garage door, Serota painted over the graffiti and will await a jury trial in the coming weeks. He is represented by attorney Paul Fallon.
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||
SEP 24, 2013