Police seek to identify two people shown in video shortly before menorah vandalized

  • Hanover, N.H., police say the two people shown in this image from a Hanover Inn video camera are believed to be involved in the vandalism to a menorah on the Dartmouth Green on Dec. 15, 2020. (Courtesy Hanover Police)

  • Hanover, N.H., police say the two people shown in this image from a Hanover Inn video camera are believed to be involved in the vandalism to a menorah on the Dartmouth Green on Dec. 15, 2020. (Courtesy Hanover Police)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 12/22/2020 4:44:48 PM
Modified: 12/22/2020 9:17:04 PM

HANOVER — Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying two people who were captured on video in downtown Hanover last week shortly before someone shot out the lights on a menorah on the Dartmouth Green.

Hanover police on Tuesday released three stills from a video camera at the Hanover Inn, which is across from the Green. The images show two people walking northbound toward the Green at the intersection of Main and East Wheelock streets around 8 p.m. on Dec. 15, according to Hanover Police Lt. Scott Rathburn.

One is dressed in what appears to be blue jeans and a dark jacket and the other in khaki pants and a gray top. The person in the lighter-colored pants is carrying what Rathburn characterized as “an object,” and which is long and narrow.

He said police couldn’t determine the gender of the two people from the video, but that a witness said they look “young, possibly high school age,” Rathburn said.

While the actual vandalism isn’t captured on camera, the witness who reported seeing the people told police that shortly after they crossed the road, the noise of someone firing a pellet gun could be heard.

“The people pictured are believed to be involved,” said Rathburn, who declined to release the actual video footage.

The damage to the menorah, which had seven of its nine lights shot out with a pellet gun, was discovered the following evening. Police are investigating the vandalism as a “biased-based incident,” Rathburn said.

Dartmouth College officials also reported damage to several college windows just north of the menorah, which may have occurred around the same time, though Rathburn declined to say which windows were damaged.

“We’re trying to determine if this is a ‘walking’ event,” Rathburn added.

Several Upper Valley residents have decried the vandalism to the Hanukkah menorah. And Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon last week said in a statement that “this appalling act of anti-Semitism, perpetuated during Hannukah in the heart of our campus, is an affront to all.”

Another, similar incident was reported this week an hour north in St. Johnsbury, Vt., when residents noticed that several trees, which had been decorated for Hanukkah, had been damaged with a baseball bat, according to St. Johnsbury Police Sgt. Lester Cleary. He said he does not believe the two incidents are connected because, judging by footprints in the snow, the tree damage was likely done by children or younger teens.

Anyone with information about the vandalism to the Dartmouth menorah is asked to call Hanover Police at 603-643-2222.

Anna Merriman can be reached at amerriman@vnews.com or 603-727-3216.




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