Deputies arrest 3 teens in cases of racist, antisemitic messages spray-painted in Weston

WESTON, Fla. – Multiple arrests have been made following several occasions of racist and antisemitic messages being spray-painted in a Broward County community.

Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony held a press conference on Wednesday at 4 p.m. to formally announce the arrests.

“These are hate crimes on the surface,” Tony said.

Three teenagers, who have not been identified, were arrested. They are all 16 years old.

“I could care less if you if you are 14, 15, 16, 38, or 75, we’re going to charge you accordingly,” Tony said.

Last month, there were at least two incidents of vandalism in Weston in which racist and antisemitic remarks and symbols were left inside the Weston Hills Country Club’s Hunter’s Point gaited community, one of which happened on Yom Kippur, a solemn Jewish religious holiday.

The second incident saw the messages of hate left at a children’s playground.

Tony said the teens were residents of the community in which the crimes took place.

“They are local residents within the community and the problem that we have here is the fact that we can’t afford to dismiss these threats,” Tony said. “We have to treat every single one of them at it is severe and it is serious.”

The damage to clean up the mess was in thousands of dollars.

As for a motive, police said the trio claimed to do it all for attention.

“Talking to the officers who investigated the individuals and interviewed them, now there is a sentiment of remorse and regret. Now they’re talking about that this was supposed to be a joke. This is not a laughing matter.”

Detectives said all three teens confessed in varying degrees to their roles in the crimes.

Two of the teens are facing three counts of criminal mischief, two counts of burglary to a structure and one count of public order crime prejudice. The public order crime prejudice charge is a hate crime enhancement.

The third teen is facing two counts of criminal mischief and one count of burglary to a structure.

The full press conference can be seen below:

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About the Authors:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.