Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Mon., Oct. 30, an Orange County grand jury handed up an indictment charging Eric Carbanaro, 18, of Warwick, with two counts of Tampering with Physical Evidence, and Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, as a hate crime, all of which are felonies. The charges stem from an investigation into the spray-painting of swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols at the Beth Shalom Cemetery in the Town of Warwick on Oct. 9, 2016.
The New York State Police and the Town of Warwick Police Department have been investigating the damage done to the Beth Shalom Cemetery in Warwick in the early morning hours of Oct. 9, 2016, when images of swastikas, the words “Heil Hitler” and Nazi “SS” symbols were found spray-painted on the walls and headstones in the cemetery.
The indictment alleges that Carbanaro took part in a conspiracy to damage property at the cemetery by spray-painting the anti-Semitic symbols and messages, and acted in concert with others to destroy evidence of the commission of that crime by deleting images and other information pertaining to desecration of the cemetery, which were contained within cellular telephones belonging to two other co-conspirators.
The indictment alleges that between Oct. 9, 2016 and June 19, 2017, one of the co- conspirators deleted a “meme” that read “secretly spray paints Jewish cemetery and gets away with it” while at Carbanaro’s residence.
District Attorney Hoovler commended the New York State Police and the Town of Warwick Police Department for their diligent investigation and thanked them for their assistance with the grand jury’s investigation.
“There is no room for this type of hateful desecration of religious property here in Orange County,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “These anti-Semitic symbols and messages do not reflect the values of the overwhelming majority of Orange County and Warwick residents. Those who engage in hate crimes will be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted by my office. I thank the New York State Police and the Town of Warwick Police Department for all of the resources that they have devoted to this investigation. The investigation into this matter will continue.”
District Attorney’s Note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.