Sheepshead Bay memorial for 15-year-old killed by school bus vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti

vandalized memorial in sheepshead bay
Councilmember Inna Vernikov shared photos of a desecrated memorial for a 15-year-old who was killed in a hit-and-run in Sheepshead Bay last month. Vandals smashed candles and spray-painted a swastika beside the memorial early on Monday morning.
Inna Vernikov/Twitter

Vandals desecrated a Sheepshead Bay memorial dedicated to a local teenager who was hit and killed by a school bus last month.

Councilmember Inna Vernikov tweeted the news on Monday morning, sharing a photograph of smashed candles and a spray-painted swastika on the sidewalk beside the memorial on Bedford Avenue and Avenue P, in front of James Madison High School. The community had placed flowers, candles, and stuffed teddy bears on the corner to remember 15-year-old Antoninia Zatulovska, who was hit and killed by a school bus driver as she crossed the street before school on Jan. 17.

“Today, a constituent reported to me that the makeshift memorial site was vandalized with a swastika [and] smashed candles,” Vernikov said, in a tweet. “A young life was cut short, a family broken, and a school community shaken to its core. To have that tragedy compounded by hateful bigotry is nothing short of cruelty.”

memorial for teenager hit by bus vandalized
Vandals smashed candles and painted a swastika at a Sheepshead Bay memorial for a 15-year-old who was hit and killed by a bus driver last month. File photo by Lloyd Mitchel

Vernikov said she had reported the incident to the New York City Police Department, and that they had sent detectives to investigate the incident. The department’s press office did not have additional information early Monday afternoon.

Zatulovska’s father told the New York Post last month that the family was planning a Jewish memorial for their daughter.

The vandalism was only the most recent in a string of anti-Semitic incidents and attacks in Brooklyn this month. Two teenagers have been arrested for unreleated assaults on Jewish men in Flatbush and Bedford-Stuyvesant, and police are still searching for the perpetrators of additional attacks and vandalism.

In January, Vernikov and her Council colleague Ari Kagan joined a march against anti-Semitism in Bensonhurst after two 21-year-old Jewish men were attacked in Bay Ridge Foot Locker shoe store. Weeks later, cops arrested local woman Christina Darling after she shouted at and spit on three Jewish children near a synagogue.