SCOTTSBURG (JTA) — Three people have been arrested in connection with the vandalism of the headstone of a Jewish couple buried in the cemetery of this small Indiana town.
An anonymous tip to police led to the arrests on Tuesday, Jan. 3, according to local news reports in Scottsburg.
Angeliquca Tompkins, 19, and Matthew Terry, 20, are charged with criminal mischief and criminal trespassing, and are being held in the county jail. The third suspect was a female juvenile who was released to the custody of her parents.
The words “F***ing Jew” were spray-painted in white across the back of the double headstone, on top of the large Jewish star, in the Scottsburg Cemetery, one of the few headstones with a Jewish name on it. Two other headstones in the cemetery were later discovered vandalized.
On Monday, Jan. 2, a grandson of the couple posted a photo of the headstone on Facebook and offered a cash reward for any information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the attack. The photo has been liked more than 16,000 times and shared more than 40,000 times.
Jarin Gladstein told a local news station: “The fact that words spread fast, obviously from Facebook, but it’s awesome that we got together and somebody obviously spilled the guts and said who it was, which I appreciate because I feel like that should pay for what they’ve done.”
Gladstein prior to the arrests had told the local media that he was “livid, upset, sick,” over the desecration.
News of the vandalism came days after a swastika was spray-painted on a sign near the entrance to the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati.
The white swastika was discovered Tuesday morning, Jan. 3, and was reported to the police shortly thereafter, said Rabbi Kenneth Kanter, associate dean and director of the rabbinical school.
HUC-JIR removed the graffiti later in the morning at the police’s recommendation.