Looking north down the sidewalk in front of Sleepers in Seattle, you wouldn’t notice the spot unless it was pointed out to you.
This morning, the owners of the shop at 4741 California SW used graffiti remover to get rid of a swastika written onto the sidewalk.
“We get tagged all the time, but not like this,” Max Alcabes, son of owners Carlos and Meryl Alcabes, said as we stood on the sidewalk, looking at the spot.
Here’s a photo provided by the Alcabes, taken before they removed it. (Our policy is generally not to fully show this type of vandalism unless requested by police for investigative purposes.) It wasn’t huge or bold. That’s not the point. It would have had the same effect even if it were tiny:
“We’re a Jewish family.”
Meryl had made note of that, calling us after reporting it to police and the regional Anti-Defamation League office. We happened to be in The Junction at the time, and went over to talk to her husband and son at the shop.
They say this is the second time it’s happened in less than half a year. The Alcabes didn’t report it the first time, but, Max says, “Twice in a year, it’s not random.”
He said he walked The Junction looking to see if the same kind of symbol had been marked anywhere else. He didn’t see anything – just what was marked outside the shop that serves as a showroom for their business, which they’ve owned for 25 years.
Here are the city and county codes for malicious harassment – the terminology used for a hate crime. If you have any information, contact Seattle Police.
ADDED TUESDAY NIGHT: Meryl Alcabes tells us that after seeing this story, people stopped in all day to offer support; she comments below, “Thank you so much for the support we are getting from all of you, our West Seattle neighbors.”