A Gloucester City man has confessed to spray-painting a hate-filled message onto the wall of the concession stand at the already vandalized Mae Schultz Park football field yesterday. The same day many observed Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.
28-year-old Alexander Peters has been charged with Criminal Mischief in the field trashing and swastika painting at football field at Malandra Hall in Camden. He was already in jail on an unrelated aggravated assault case.
That Nazi symbol is the one symbol that when you see it you stop and you instantaneously recognize, 'OK that's the symbol of hatred,'" said Steven Rosenberg, Chief Marketing Officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
The swastika was quickly power-washed from the building and Public Works crews got back to work repairing the football field already carved up Sunday afternoon by someone driving a pick-up truck. According to Camden police, multiple security cameras on the Malandra Hall community center captured the vehicle believed to have been used to destroy the field.
"We have the ability to take a look at the make and model of the vehicle," said Camden County Police spokesman Dan Keashen. "Because it's an active investigation I can't go further than that but we're going to be scouring the area for this vehicle."
Despite the best efforts from repair crews, the youth football league that utilizes the field will have to play elsewhere this Saturday. That saddens Robert Kelly, the volunteer coach who has to explain to his kids that someone destroyed their sanctuary from Camden's mean streets and tagged that sanctuary with a symbol of hatred.
"It's sickening. It's sickening," Kelly said. " I mean we've been going through this for a while but for you to come out here at a place where kids are actually at and do that here? You have no heart."