MANCHESTER — A juvenile arrested with alleged swastika-painter Jamal Gray told police that Gray painted a swastika on the Wagner Park monument.
The unnamed juvenile took responsibility for another swastika painted about a block away, according to a police affidavit filed Thursday when Gray, 19, appeared in Hillsborough County Superior Court-North, where he had been scheduled for arraignment.
Gray initially appeared willing to speak to a reporter, but left the courthouse without speaking after his public defender intervened.
“Anything he says can be used against him,” said public defender Sarah Rothman.
Gray is accused of painting swastikas in and around Wagner Memorial Park overnight on Oct. 26. The symbols were discovered the following morning, the same day that a gunman killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
According to the affidavits, police arrested Gray early that morning and charged him with loitering/prowling and possession of a stolen E-ZPass transponder.
He later turned himself over to police on the swastika-related charges. He appeared in court today and waived his arraignment.
He faces two charges of felony criminal mischief. One involved the swastika and the letters “FtP” at the Wagner Memorial. FtP generally represents a crudity directed toward police.
The other alleges he spray-painted a swastika on the interior of a car belonging to Richard Laroche, 72 Oak St.
In an affidavit, police said they spoke to the unnamed juvenile and his father on Nov. 11. The youth said he and Gray left Gray’s house at 831 Hayward St. and found two cans of black spray paint at the Manchester Skate Park.
They began walking toward Wagner Park and spray painting along the way.
“The juvenile then said he knows ‘how bad swastikas are,’” police wrote. The youth admitted he spray painted a swastika on a fence at Russell and Prospect streets.
The felony charges against Gray represent the level of damage of the spray painting: $1,500 at the park memorial, $2,022 to two cars.
Wagner Memorial Park is about a block from Temple Adath Yeshurun, which later organized a vigil at the park.
A member of the temple, Mike Litvin, and Alderman Will Stewart were on hand for Gray’s court appearance.
Litvin said he wants authorities to determine who spray-painted the graffiti, but he said Gray “looks like a kid,” and he doesn’t want to see him in jail.
“I just don’t want him to do it again,” Litvin said.