Self-Avowed White Supremacist Arrested for Vandalism in Long Island

  • September 5, 2007

Law enforcement in Nassau County, Long Island, New York, arrested two men for an Anti-Semitic vandalism spree spanning five locations over Labor Day weekend.

Included in the graffiti found at the two schools, synagogue, home and street sign were red swastikas, ethnic slurs, and thelife rune - a symbol adopted by the neo-Nazi organization the National Alliance in their logo. It was the life rune that attracted the attention of a Nassau County Bias and Special Investigations Unit Detective, and ultimately led to the pair's capture. 

Matthew Felicetti, 17, of Floral Park, and John Rocissano, 20, of Manhasset, were arrested separately on September 1, 2007. Felicetti was charged as an adult with five counts of aggravated harassment in the first degree, four counts of criminal mischief in the third degree and four counts of criminal mischief in the fourth degree. Rocissano was charged with eight counts of aggravated harassment in the first degree, seven counts of criminal mischief in the third degree and five counts of criminal mischief in the fourth degree.

The vandalism was discovered on Saturday, September 1, 2007, and authorities believed it was committed late Friday night or early Saturday morning. The vandalism included a swastika painted on a school bus parked at Roslyn High School; broken windows, swastikas, ethnic slurs and a life rune at the Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore in Plandome; three swastikas on the front door of home in Roslyn Estates; a swastika on a Roslyn Estates street sign; and swastikas at Munsey Park Elementary School.

The two men worked together at a business supply store in Manhasset. According to a coworker, Rocissano showed up at work with a newly shaved head on Friday, August 31, the same evening the vandalism occurred.   

Rocissano, who is a senior at Manhasset High School, identifies himself on an online social networking web site as the group leader for a National Alliance discussion site, and claims to have been arrested for distributing anti-Semitic fliers earlier this year. He goes on to list the infamous white supremacist manifesto "The Turner Diaries," written by the founder of the National Alliance, William Pierce, as a favorite book. According to police, Rocissano had in fact been seen distributing fliers, possibly for the National Alliance. 

Both men pleaded not guilty to all charges and posted bail on September 2.

Nassau County Police are investigating the incidents as hate crimes.

More from this Section

H.E.A.T Map

ADL H.E.A.T. Map is the first-of-its-kind interactive and customizable map detailing extremist and anti-Semitic incidents around the nation.