Woman charged in Royal Oak swastika graffiti

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A woman accused of spray-painting antisemitic graffiti at the Woodward Avenue Shul Jewish Center in Royal Oak last week has been charged, police said.

Randi Lucille Nord was arraigned Wednesday through 44th District Court in Royal Oak, records show. She was charged with ethnic intimidation, a felony carrying a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine, and malicious destruction of a building, a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail and a fine three times the amount of the destruction, police said.

Randi Nord

Bond was set at $75,000.

Magistrate Donald Chisholm ordered her to have no contact with the Shul or Rabbi Mendel Polter.

A swastika symbol and the letters AZOV were spray-painted on the side of the building April 27. The word "azov" means “leave” in Hebrew but the letters also are linked to a pro-Nazi Ukrainian militia.

The graffiti shook the community, Polter said.

Religious and regional officials have denounced the act as antisemitism, which rose across the country last year, according to the Tel Aviv University's Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry and the Anti-Defamation League.

The Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC noted swastikas also were spray-painted last week in Oak Park.

“Our entire community — Jewish and non-Jewish — must condemn these actions of hatred and intolerance,” said Rabbi Asher Lopatin, executive director of the JCRC/AJC, in a statement earlier this week. “Intolerance against one of us is intolerance against all of us.”

Farmington Hills police arrested her Monday night.

The Clinton Township resident's criminal history includes convictions for assault and battery, fourth-degree fleeing and eluding as well as operating while intoxicated, police said.

Her probable cause conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 12, court records show.