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Three people have been arrested on hate crime charges in Hornell, New York after police arrested them for distributing pamphlets bearing a Nazi hate symbol at a synagogue, a Black church and other locations in the city.
The Nazi flyer promoted the “Aryan National Army” and included a skull positioned inside a swastika. Aryan Nations “is one of the country’s best-known enclaves of anti-Semitism and white nationalism,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.
The first pamphlet was discovered stuck to the door of Rehoboth Deliverance Ministries, which has a predominantly Black congregation, as people began arriving for the July 10 Sunday morning services.
“Because of all that has happened over the last few years, months; especially what happened in Buffalo, people get scared, and when you have children, young people, older people, they don’t know what to think. A lot of them never experienced anything like this,” assistant minister Marseena Harmonson said.
Parkland shooter used Nazi symbology before his attack.
Police found a similar flyer that was left at the Temple Beth-El synagogue and in other locations including driveways, doorways and a park, Police Chief T.J. Murray said. Hornell Police’s investigation into the matter were assisted by the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the FBI office in Rochester.
On Monday, July 11, police spotted two men distributing the literature, authorities said. Afterwards, the officers searched their home and arrested the two men and a woman. Aubrey Dragonetti, 31, Dylan Henry, 30, and Ryan Mulhollen, 27, were each charged with 115 counts of aggravated harassment, a felony hate crime, the Hornell Police Department said in a news release Monday.
“Our investigation revealed that the three of them were involved collectively to distribute this material,” Murray said. “The day before we had some that showed up in various locations, two of them were on houses of worship in the Hornell community. So we were concerned about it, our patrol officers were on the alert the following night, and they actually intercepted these individuals in the process of doing it.”
Mayor of Hornell, John Buckly had this to say about the matter. “The City of Hornell is a very close knit, welcoming and accepting community and there is absolutely no room for this type of hate or any other here. These are three misguided individuals who have hate in their hearts, this is something that is not reflective of Hornell,” Buckley said.
The suspects appeared in Steuben County centralized arraignment court on Monday. The Steuben County Jail listed Henry as being held without bail. Dragonetti and Mulhollen were jailed, but have since been released.