CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A swastika was found spray-painted on the garage door of a south Charlotte home Tuesday morning.
According to a police report, the symbol was spray painted at a home on Sutherby Drive between 9 p.m. Monday and 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. Police were able to quickly paint over the image so the family's children didn't see it.
Dusty Klass, who is the family's rabbi, says a neighbor first spotted the symbol and then called the family. "It's a completely unacceptable and really frightening thing to do to a person. To go onto their property and intentionally put something hateful on their space."
Klass says the family who lives in the home had just recently put up decorations for Hanukkah.The rabbi says the reaction regarding the derogatory symbol has been swift.
"People just want to make sure this family is feeling held by their community," she said.
Although the symbol was painted over, the family said they wanted others to know what happened to their home. They hope speaking out will trigger conversations regarding similar incidents in the area.
"They were shocked, they were hurt, they were angry," Klass said. "It was really important to them that people know this happened here in Charlotte and that it's not OK and that it could happen to anyone and that we need to know about it and talk about it so we can do something about it."
In September, someone reportedly drew a swastika in black marker on the door of a home on Savannah Creek Drive in southwest Charlotte.
The day before, the couple said they were in Temple for high holy Jewish days. They told WBTV that "on the most sacred days of the year, we spend all day basically praying in a Temple. We came home in the afternoon. Everything was fine. We left here at about quarter to five to go for cleansing of the sins. We were gone for less than an hour and a half."
While they were gone, someone had drawn a swastika on their glass door.
"It's a symbol of hate. With today's society's actions and all this hate, it just dumbfounds me" the man said. "We're outraged. We feel violated."
A few months prior, someone painted a swastika on the road in the same neighborhood and there was an arrow pointing to the same house where the swastika was drawn.
In November, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a breakdown of which North Carolina cities have had reports of anti-Semitic incidents in 2017.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, North Carolina, Maryland, District of Columbia and Virginia have seen a spike of reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2017 compared to 2016. Officials also say there was an increase in the number of reported incidents following the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville that happened in August.
The ADL says there were 15 reports of anti-Semitic incidents involving harassment or vandalism in North Carolina between Jan 1. and Sept. 30. Those numbers are compared to one reported incident in the state in 2016.
Charlotte had the highest number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in North Carolina so far this year.
In November, a spokesperson with the ADL gave WBTV a breakdown of the data, showing which cities and towns have had incidents:
- Charlotte: 5
- Asheville: 3
- Greensboro: 2
- Raleigh: 2