Source: Voice of Rockland
Police in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey have just arrested a suspect for vandalizing the local Eruv. The suspect was caught in the act by an off-duty officer heading home from work on Friday afternoon.
This incident comes amidst an ongoing dispute between the town of Upper Saddle River and neighboring towns Mahwah and Montvale, all of whom have issued orders for the removal of the 26 mile Eruv that spans their jurisdiction.
The Eruv was installed by a group from nearby Monsey, New York. The South Monsey Eruv Fund says they received prior approval from the Orange & Rockland utility company to hang their PVC support beams on the company’s poles. The townships have contended that the Eruv’s design violates local ordinances regarding sign hanging.
On Wednesday, the Eruv received a temporary court order to repair several locations which were vandalized, despite the fast approaching township-ordered deadline for removal.
Local police are taking the reports of vandalism very seriously. Mahwah Chief of Police James Batelli said his department was considering the reports of vandalism on Wednesday to be bias related. Upper Saddle River Police Chief Patrick Rotella has instructed his department to be on the look out for possible hate, including vandalism on the streets and expressed in online forums.
A Facebook group called Mahwah Strong has more than 3000 members and was formed to act as ‘check and balance’ for Mahwah to enforce its ordinances.
Additionally, an online petition against the Eruv collected more than 1200 signatures before being shut down over hateful comments. “I don’t want these rude, nasty, dirty people who think they can do what they want in our nice town,” one of the comments reads.
Community leaders thank the local police and Chief Rotella for their assistance and zero tolerance for hate and bias while litigation on behalf of the Eruv is underway.