Video footage reveals possible suspects in menorah vandalism investigation

by Kyle Mullins | 12/22/20 10:51pm


Video camera footage from the evening of the incident shows two possible suspects, one carrying a long object.

Source: Courtesy of Scott Rathburn

As Hanover Police continue to investigate the vandalism of the menorah on the Green reported last Wednesday, the department has obtained a video that may show two perpetrators.

Screenshots of the video, obtained by The Dartmouth on Tuesday, show two people walking north across the intersection of East Wheelock Street and Main Street in downtown Hanover around the suspected time of the vandalism. The video was taken around 8 p.m. on Dec. 15 by video cameras at the entrance of the Hanover Inn, according to Hanover Police lieutenant Scott Rathburn. One of the people appears to be holding a long, narrow object, possibly a BB or pellet gun.

A witness reported seeing someone with a BB gun at the same time that night, in the same area, according to Rathburn. 

“The time matches up, so that’s what’s kind of leading us to think that that’s what [the person in the video] had,” Rathburn said. 

The witness described the two people as white and “possibly high school-age,” but did not specify gender.

The Valley News reported Tuesday afternoon that the witness said they heard the firing of a pellet gun shortly after the people in the video crossed the road. The vandalized menorah was located on the west side of the Green, across from Collis Center. The police have just one witness statement as of Tuesday, Rathburn said.

Additionally, police are investigating damage to a first-floor glass door and second-floor glass window of Dartmouth buildings near the area, Rathburn said. As of Tuesday evening, one window on the ground-floor entrance door of Carpenter Hall has a hole in it patched with tape.

Rathburn declined to specify which building or buildings were reported as damaged, but he said that the holes reported to the Hanover Police were similar to those found on the menorah, which appeared to be from a pellet or BB gun.

Police declined to release the full video, the police report or other documents, citing the ongoing investigation.

Officials from Facilities Operations and Management and Safety and Security did not respond to requests for comment by press time or referred comment to the Office of Communications. 

The developments in the investigation come as multiple campus organizations, including Student Assembly and several Greek houses, have released statements condemning the vandalism of the menorah and anti-Semitism more broadly.

The Hanover Police department encourages anyone with information about the incident to call (603) 643-2222.

Correction appended (Dec. 22, 2020): A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that the incident occurred on Thursday. It occurred on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning and was reported on Wednesday. The article has been updated to reflect this change.