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Anti-Semitic Acts on Rise : Vandalism Spurs Call for Inquiry

December 13, 1987|STEPHANIE O'NEILL | Times Staff Writer

An increase in anti-Semitic vandalism throughout Glendale since a recent visit to the city by avowed racist and convicted church-bomber J. D. Stoner has prompted Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich to press for investigations by city and county officials.

In a statement issued before a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting last week, Antonovich said Stoner's visit to Glendale "apparently has triggered a series of anti-Semitic acts of vandalism."

During the meeting, Antonovich introduced a motion calling for the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations to investigate the recent rise in vandalism in Glendale and a Nov. 22 appearance by Stoner at the Glendale Holiday Inn.

Stoner's appearance in Glendale caused a near-riot outside the hotel, where an angry mob of more than 250 people protesting his visit faced off for several hours with about 75 law enforcement officers.

Antonovich asked the commission to report back to the supervisors with findings and recommendations in four weeks.

'Hate Groups'

Human relations commissioners were scheduled to hear a staff report on Glendale "hate groups" last week. However, the presentation was postponed until Dec. 21 because the staff member who was to have presented the report was ill.

Glendale city officials were out of the state and could not be reached for comment. However, Mayor Ginger Bremberg and other officials have denied that Stoner or other white supremacists have support in the city and rebutted any suggestion that Glendale tolerates racism.

"There may have been a few Glendalians there," Bremberg said, referring to Stoner's meeting, "but they would go to see a two-headed geek in the circus, too."

Sgt. Dean Durand, spokesman for the Glendale Police Department, said racial vandalism has increased in Glendale since Stoner's visit.

In the most recent incident, Glendale police arrested a Highland Park man last week for painting swastikas and racial epithets on the walls of a Glendale synagogue.

Joseph William Dunlap, 32, was arrested on a felony charge of making threats of obstructing the exercise of religion, Durand said.

Dunlap was arrested in Highland Park after a caretaker of Temple Sinai of Glendale discovered the swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti spray-painted in red on the doors and walls of the temple about 3:40 a.m. Monday, police said.

The caretaker told police that the slurs were not on the building during a 12:05 a.m. inspection of the property on North Pacific Avenue.

At 3:30 a.m. Monday, a caller who identified himself as a member of a white supremacist organization telephoned the Glendale Police Department and claimed responsibility for the vandalism, a police report said. The caller said the group is a branch of the American Nazi Party, the report said.

Dunlap is being held in Glendale City Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail, Durand said.

But police so far have no suspects in several other attacks that occurred since Stoner's visit.

The same day Stoner spoke in Glendale, swastikas and anti-Semitic epithets were spray-painted on three businesses on Pacific Avenue, Durand said.

Nazi Symbols

On Nov. 23, three swastikas, an anti-Semitic epithet and an "SS" symbol, referring to a military unit of the German Nazi Party, were painted on a West Broadway liquor store.

Two days later, more graffiti, including four swastikas, were painted on the Westcott Christian Center on South Glendale Avenue.

"It's safe to say the Police Department feels that these particular incidents . . . were prompted by the Stoner rally," Durand said.

Two days before that rally, in which two neo-Nazi "skinheads" were beaten by members of the crowd, Antonovich sent a telegram to Holiday Inn manager Pat Duncan urging her to cancel Stoner's reservation. The Holiday Inn refused.

Antonovich, citing similar acts of racial hatred in Altadena, proposed that "all law enforcement agencies in the county . . . increase their vigilance to eliminate such hate crimes."

The supervisors are scheduled to vote on the motion Tuesday, said Antonovich spokesman Dawson Oppenheimer.

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