Two incidents occurred overnight on April 11 at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia and the Little River United Church of Christ in Annandale. The other incident involved anti-Semitic flyers posted on the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College last month. The college’s police department initiated an investigation of the flyers on March 20.
Detectives collected video from the crimes and physical evidence and used social media to identify a suspect.
|A police car at Dylan Mahone's house [Fox5 DC]|
Mahone was taken to the Adult Detention Center and charged with two counts each of felony destruction of property, placing a swastika on religious property with the intent to intimidate, and wearing a mask in public to conceal one’s identity. More charges are possible, Parker said.
The NVCC Police charged Mahone with one count of felony destruction of property and one count of wearing a mask in public to conceal one’s identity.
Police do not believe he is connected to a larger hate network, Parker said.
According to a report on WTOP, an anonymous Twitter account sending out anti-Semitic messages helped lead police to Mahone, who had attended NVCC for one semester.
Anti-Semitic flyers at NVCC, containing swastikas and phrases such as “Just Say No to Jewish Lies,” also had the phrase “Aryan Underground.” Police discovered a Twitter account with that name, which contained images of the flyers, WTOP reports.
The anti-Semitic graffiti discovered this week at the JCCNV and a nearby church, had the initials “AU,” which led police to link the three incidents. Police also recovered clothing, a mask, and spray paint that tied Mahone to the crime scenes.
“The Fairfax County Police recognizes the potential harm bias/hate incidents and crimes can cause in a community,” the police department states. “We encourage everyone to report these incidents. While not all incidents rise to a criminal level, each incident is documented. This can help prevent more from occurring or escalating into crimes and assist us in identifying patterns or persons involved in this negative behavior.”
Anyone who sees or has knowledge of bias/hate incidents is encouraged to all the police non-emergency number, 703-691-2131.
The Little River United Church of Christ is hosting a community vigil April 15, 7:30 p.m., 8410 Little River Turnpike, in response to the hate crimes. Members of several faith traditions will lead the service.
At the press briefing, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova, JCCNV Exeutive Director Jeff Dannick, and Rev. Dr. David Lindsey, senior pastor of Little River United Church of Christ, all commended the FCPD and NVCC police for their quick response.
Police Chief Edwin Roessler said, “We will not tolerate hate crime in Fairfax County.” This is a place where “we celebrate our diversity.”
‘It is not okay – in our community, in Fairfax County, in the United States – for people to feel they can speak and act through hate and hurt others,” Bulova said. This is a demonstration of “how quickly and how well we can come together to address actions that disrupt the harmony of our community.”
“This has been a dark few days for us,” Dannick said. “The fact that it happened on Passover is particularly hurtful to our community and during Holy Week, as well.”
“But in order for there to be light, there has to be darkness first,” he said. “So what I’m looking at is the light and the amount of outpouring of support we’ve experienced from our friends, from our neighbors, from people of all faiths reaching out to us.”
Lindsey said his church was founded in a spirit of inclusion 62 years ago when Fairfax County was still in the grip of white supremacy. Since then it has expanded its mission to become a welcoming place for the LGBTQ community.
“People of all faiths and no particular faith have reached out to the Jewish Community Center and Little River United Church of Christ to offer their support and assistance this week,” he said. “The sound of hate speech continues to be drowned out ever more fully here in Fairfax County by the joyous cries of our increasingly diverse community.” This is a place were “freedom of worship, freedom of speech, and love of neighbor will win the day.”
This article was updated April 13, 5:25 p.m.