Florida Jewish community relieved by arrest of 4 teens linked to anti-Semitic vandalism

Florida Jewish community relieved by arrest of 4 teens linked to anti-Semitic vandalism

A Florida city and its Jewish community are breathing a big sigh of relief after the arrests of four teens linked to anti-Semitic vandalism.

Pensacola Police arrested 18-year-old Kessler Ferry, 16-year-old Nicholas Ferry, 17-year-old Waylon Fowler and 15-year-old Wyatt Fowler for a series of anti-Semitic vandalism incidents that have taken place over the past two weeks.

WEAR spoke to the rabbi of the Jewish community center, who got the news straight from the chief of police.

“Chief Eric Randall called me with the exciting news that they finally caught these guys,” Rabbi Mendel Danow, Pensacola Chabad Jewish Center rabbi said. “We’re extremely thankful to law enforcement.”

After someone threw a brick, scribbled with swastikas and hateful messages, through a kitchen window, Danow shared news of the arrest at a Chabad dinner for young Jewish professionals Friday evening.

“I’m sure there’ll be an extra ‘L’Chaim’ in honor of the good news,” Rabbi Danow said. “And for the prosperity and the peace in the Jewish community and entire Pensacola community.”

It was a combination of good police work and good timing that prevented another anti-Semitic attack.

“Looking at social media responses, it was clear that the community won’t tolerate this,” Pensacola Police Officer Mike Wood said. “We’ve had help from various sources.”

Pensacola Police says the suspects are teens from Pensacola.

“The two Ferry boys are related. They’re brothers,” Wood said.

Police couldn’t say if the two others, Waylon and Wyatt Fowler, were related, or how. The teens left behind a trail of graffiti around town and broken windows that shook the community’s sense of safety.

“These are felony crimes, felony criminal mischief because of the amount of damage that was done,” Wood said. “Plus the fact that this has now been enhanced as a hate crime, that’s very serious as well.”

As other teenagers head back to class soon, these four teens are facing a lot of trouble.

“How is it that we have four teens in Pensacola where this is their past time? They find this as entertainment when they’re hurting so many people,” Danow.

“This is a hate crime. This is something Pensacola is not going to tolerate. These people that did this may think it’s a joke, that’s about to be made perfectly clear,” Wood said.Police told WEAR that investigators are working to see if there are more suspects tied to the crimes. They anticipate there will be more arrests.