N.J. man sentenced to prison for carving swastika in neighbor’s lawn

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — A Lakewood, N.J. man was sentenced to 15 months in prison for carving a swastika into his neighbors’ lawn.

The sentence handed down Friday in Superior Court comes about one year after Scott Cooney was arrested and charged with bias intimidation. His neighbors in an adult housing development had watched as Cooney, 36, carved the swastika into their front lawn.

Cooney had pleaded guilty in June.

One of the neighbors is Jewish, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Prior to the swastika, Cooney had threatened the neighbors for several months with anti-Semitic and anti-gay slurs, according to prosecutors.

Though Cooney had been ordered to have no contact with his victims, he wrote threatening letters to them while in jail awaiting sentencing, which led to an increase in the time of his sentence.

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