By Julie Shapiro
BATTERY PARK CITY — Police have found the man who allegedly left notes reading “KILL JEWS” around tri-state area, including in Battery Park City, but they do not know why he did it, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.
Dimitrious Apolonides, 37, a livery driver from Brooklyn, is charged with aggravated harassment for leaving dozens of slips of paper with the anti-Semitic message all over the city and in Westchester, Long Island and New Jersey.
Police are treating the case as a hate crime, but an NYPD source told the Journal that Apolonides expressed no hatred for Jews and did not explain his motive.
In Battery Park City, the alarming notes first started appearing last year, The Broadsheet Daily reported in March. After 20 notes were found in just two days this spring, the Battery Park City Authority notified building managers and the neighborhood’s Museum of Jewish Heritage to be on the lookout, the Broadsheet reported.
Police had been investigating the case for months and eventually traced the notes to Apolonides because he wrote some of them on slips of paper displaying part of the logo of XYZ Luxury Sedan Service, his employer, the Journal reported.
The Anti-Defamation League’s New York leaders released a statement Monday praising the NYPD.
“While the motive for this anti-Semitic leafleting spree remains unclear, there can be no doubt that this was a crime motivated by hate, and that the intent here was to spread fear through the New York City metropolitan area,” the statement read.
“We urge the District Attorney's Office to consider the wider impact of these fliers and the climate of fear and intimidation they instilled as the prosecution pursues possible hate crimes charges against Mr. Apolonides.”