Bergenfield family wants to know why cross was left on their front lawn
BERGENFIELD — A Bergen County family wants to know who put a large cross in their front yard on Sunday night and why.
A tenant who went outside to smoke a cigarette as he awaited delivery of Chinese food was the first to spot the cross made of two sticks taped together and called homeowner Beatrice Friedman.
"There's a cross on my lawn. Is someone playing games? What the hell" homeowner Beatrice Friedman remembered thinking after the cross was brought to her attention by one of her tenants.
The cross was made of two sticks taped together. Local police, however, are not considering it a hate crime.
Friedman, who describes herself as "Jewish and proud" on her Facebook page said it was "scary" to find the cross.
"This is a thing on my lawn that someone purposely put there. I have lived there 15 years and nothing like this has happened to me before."
She said that she and her husband Oscar Pinones "represent both sides of the spectrum, we are Jewish and Mexican."
A comment on her Facebook page speculated that racially tinged comments attributed to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump could have "emboldened" someone to put the cross on her lawn.
"The only thing Trump has done is opened up people to discuss it. At least people are letting out how they truly feel and not holding it in and committing hate crimes. But then I'm a victim of that. I'm lucky someone didn't do anything else. Using Trump as an excuse for someone's ignorance that was too cowardly to bring it up in their own discussion. They put their opinion on my property."
Bergenfield police told the Bergen Record the incident is not considered a bias crime.
“There has to be more to it than just a cross left on somebody’s lawn. For all we know it could have been somebody that put a cross on the wrong house. It could be something as simple and innocent as that. Or just somebody doing a prank. Because it’s not like they’ve picked out specific houses, or they’ve done it to numerous houses or numerous people of a certain religion. This is an isolated situation," Captain Mustafa Rabboh told the newspaper.
Friedman said she is adding a security system to her home.