Swastika at Prospect and Russell street

A third swastika in the Wagner Memorial Park neighborhood is on a fence at Prospect and Russell streets.

MANCHESTER - A third swastika has been discovered in the North End neighborhood around Wagner Memorial Park.

The swastika, painted on a lattice fence with what appears to be black spray paint, was found at 91 Russell St., at the corner of Prospect and Russell streets.

Manchester police said Wednesday the homeowner notified police of the graffiti by telephone. Spokesman Lt. Brian O'Keefe said the graffiti could have been applied anytime last week.

The house is located about one block from the park and two blocks away from Temple Adath Yeshurun, one of the oldest temples in the state.

"We don't know if this is youthful vandalism or intentional hatred, but our nerves are raw and exposed," said Robert Bersak, the president of the temple.

Bersak said news of the graffiti has saddened members of the congregation. The temple hosted a prayer service Wednesday night for members of both Adath Yeshurun and Temple Israel, which is also located in the North End. Mayor Joyce Craig, U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan and former Sen. Gordon Humphrey were scheduled to take part. Members of the Greater Manchester Clergy Association and a women's interfaith group were also invited.

Bersak said space limitations prevented organizers from opening the event to the entire community.

On Saturday morning, people in the Wagner Memorial Park neighborhood started reporting graffiti to Manchester police, who say the vandalism most likely took place overnight Friday.

Two reports involved swastikas. One was sprayed with black paint on the base of the park memorial. The city's graffiti removal crew removed a swastika and the acronym "FtP" from the memorial on Sunday morning.

The second swastika was found around the corner, on Hall Street, and was also likely sprayed overnight Friday. A third piece of graffiti, a vulgarity and crude symbol, was spray painted on the storm door of an Ash Street house across from the temple.

The graffiti was discovered about the same time that a gunman started shooting worshipers at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Eleven people died.

It was unclear how long the graffiti has been at Russell Street. A neighbor did not notice the graffiti until it was pointed out by a reporter.

"This is awful," Natalie Stanley said.

Stanley said graffiti is commonplace a few blocks to the south but had not often been seen in her neighborhood.

"We try really hard to keep it nice here," she said.

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