Two teenagers were sentenced today in Lee County Juvenile Court for a vandalism case that targeted the home of Rabbi Mendy Greenberg in Bonita Springs. The 17-yearold and 14-year-old spray painted the victim’s driveway with the word “Jew’s,” destroyed a mailbox, and smashed a car window.
The teens were charged by the State Attorney’s Office with Criminal Mischief More than $200.00. The Florida “hate crime” enhancement statute was added. The petition reads as follows:
On or about January 31, 2022 in Lee County, Florida, did unlawfully, willfully, and maliciously injure or damage any real or personal property belonging to (the victim) by causing damage in excess of $200 but less than $1,000.00, and such violation of law evidenced prejudice based on race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, homeless status, or advanced age of the victim, contrary to Florida Statute, 806.13; 775.085; 777.011, Third Degree Felony
The teens were arrested by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office following an investigation.
Today’s disposition places both juveniles on probation, which includes community service and a curfew. As a condition of probation, the two must also attend the Neighborhood Accountability Board, also known as “NAB” with their parents or legal guardian.
“These juveniles will face their consequences immediately from the community they injured. They will learn of the impact of their senseless behavior by meeting with leaders of the Jewish community and, together, the community will determine how best to repair the harm,” said State Attorney Amira Fox.
State Attorney Fox, Sheriff Carmine Marceno and Rabbi Greenberg expressed that it was important the juveniles answered directly to the Jewish community. “Rabbi Greenberg, Sheriff Marceno and I hope that this resolution will help deter criminal acts rooted in prejudice by empowering the victims of such prejudice to challenge the actors to learn from their ignorance.”
Assistant State Attorney Scott Miller prosecuted the cases.
Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office