Two arrested, charged with hate crime after pro-Israel sign stolen

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Two arrested, charged with hate crime after pro-Israel sign stolen

MARBLEHEAD – Two Lowell brothers were arraigned last week on felony charges – including a hate crime – after allegedly taking a pro-Israel lawn sign from a homeowner’s property.

Timothy Retelle, 24, and Jacqueline Retelle, 26, were arrested on May 31 after they were found in front of Amy and Mark Meltzer’s home in Marblehead. According to a police report, Amy Meltzer reported that she noticed a man holding her “I Stand with Israel” sign that had been in her yard. “At this point J. [Jacqueline] stomped on, then lowered their mask and spit on the sign,” the report stated.

After a neighbor called the police, the Retelle brothers were identified on a nearby street by police and ordered to stop. Instead, according to police, Jacqueline Retelle entered the passenger side of a vehicle, which stopped in the middle of the street. “The driver, later identified as Timothy Retelle … instead accelerated nearly running over my feet and [I] jammed my finger in the door handle in the process,” Marblehead police officer Andrew DiMare wrote in his report.

Timothy Retelle was charged with three felonies: vandalizing property (a hate crime), assault with a dangerous weapon and a civil rights violation, failing to stop for police and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. Jacqueline Retelle was charged with two felonies: vandalizing property (a hate crime) and a civil rights violation; he was also charged with disorderly conduct. Both men pleaded not guilty at Lynn District Court and were released. The court ordered them to stay 100 yards away from the Meltzer home and to not have any contact with the family.

Amy Meltzer said she was arriving home in her car just before Shabbat began on Friday, May 31 when she witnessed a commotion on her lawn and a man with a facemask holding her “I Stand with Israel” sign. “I rolled down the window and I said, ‘Can I please have my sign back?’ And he’s like, ‘what?’ And I said, ‘Can I please have my sign back?’ So he’s wearing a face mask, he takes off his mask, and he spits on the sign,” she said.

The police soon arrived and identified the two brothers with the help of a neighbor who had followed the men. “It was right before Shabbat so I wasn’t able to make dinner for Shabbat because Shabbat had started so we had like, bread for dinner,” said Amy Meltzer. “And I wasn’t able to light candles for Shabbat, and then my younger daughter was so upset. She slept in our room for two nights. She was afraid somebody would come back to the house or do something.”

Marc Meltzer called the incident very upsetting. “We literally decided to move to Marblehead because of the Jewish community and the safety in the town,” he said. Θ

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