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Third suspect to surrender in hate crime graffiti case

An 18-year-old Island man will surrender to Mercer Island police today in regard to hate crime incidents involving graffiti and vandalism at Northwest Yeshiva High School, St. Monica Catholic Church and a public elementary school on the Island in September. Upon his arrest on Mercer Island, the man will be booked into the King County Jail. Two juveniles were arrested earlier and booked into the King County Juvenile Detention Facility.

According to Police Detective Pete Erickson, the charges being forwarded to the King County Prosector for the three are malicious harassment, first-degree malicious mischief, second-degree burglary and criminal conspiracy.

The police department has been contacted by the Jewish Federation and the Anti-Defamation League in regard to the crimes. Detective Erickson said the department takes these incidents very seriously and is applying all possible police resources to the case.

The vandalism and graffiti were discovered at Northwest Yeshiva High School on the eve of Yom Kippur and included swastikas, references to death camps and gas chambers. Neighbors helped clean up the damage. A courtyard at St. Monica was also covered with offensive markings. At least one of the young men is a suspect in similar incidents.

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