KCAL-TV: Anti-Semitic Letter Sent to Jewish Center

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Editors note: Adonis Irwin is the half-brother of Merry Berg.

Anti-Semitic Letter Sent to Jewish Center

Press » KCAL-TV » 2007-05-16

(CBS) SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. A letter containing anti-Semitic language was sent to a Jewish community center in Sherman Oaks on Wednesday, less than two weeks after swastikas and an anti-Semitic message were posted on the door of a City Council member's office nearby, authorities said.

Officials at the Valley Cities Jewish Community Center, 13164 Burbank Blvd., notified police around noon that they had received the letter, according to Los Angeles police spokesman Kevin Maiberger.

The letter was being investigated as a hate "incident" and not as a hate "crime" because no violent threats were used in the letter, said Officer April Harding of LAPD media relations.

The letter apparently documented the origin of the word Jew, Harding said. A second hate letter was also apparently sent to the center, but it was unclear when it was received, authorities said.

Staff at the community center could not be reached for comment.

On May 3, staff members at City Councilman Jack Weiss' field office at 14310 Ventura Blvd. found three red-and-black swastikas and an anti-Semitic note posted on the front door.

Adonis A. Irwin, 32, of Sherman Oaks, pleaded not guilty last week in Van Nuys Superior Court to misdemeanor charges of vandalism, performing a hate crime and posting a swastika.

If convicted, he faces a maximum of three years in jail and up to $11,000 in fines. In the meantime, a judge ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Police said they had questioned Irwin the day before the swastikas appeared for allegedly disturbing staffers at Weiss' office.

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