A Mequon man yelled anti-Semitic slurs at his neighbors after removing their Joe Biden yard sign, complaint says – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A Mequon man who yelled anti-Semitic slurs at his neighbors after removing their yard sign for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden faces hate crime charges, according to a criminal complaint released Sept. 3.
Gregory Kirst, 49, has been charged in Ozaukee County Circuit Court with disorderly conduct with a hate crime enhancer, which increases the maximum penalty to $10,000 and prison sentence to one year.
According to the complaint:
Kirst walked across the street with his daughter around 7:34 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30, and removed the Biden sign from his neighbor’s yard. He then yelled at the female neighbor through a screen door.
The woman inside the house told Kirst to leave her property, but he swore at her and repeatedly gave her the middle finger.
When the woman’s husband confronted him outside, Kirst called him a “dirty Jew” and blamed Jews for causing riots in Portland.
Kirst eventually left the neighbor’s property and returned to his house, where he used a large piece of white cloth to create a sign that said “Jews for Trump,” which he then displayed on his front lawn.
Kirst repeatedly refused to leave his home when Mequon police arrived. Kirst denied removing the neighbor’s sign or having any kind of altercation.
Another neighbor eventually convinced Kirst to come out of his house to be arrested.
Kirst is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 17, according to online court records.
Mequon Mayor John Wirth condemned Kirst’s actions in a blog post, in which he pleaded with residents to continue to show civility for each other, despite the disagreements that may result from conversations about the election, coronavirus and race relations.
“I truly believe that the vast majority of Mequon residents — people of color and white people; people of all faiths; Republicans, Democrats and independents — are good people. I am hopeful that we can keep our heads,” Wirth said. “This election, the discussion about race and our opinions about the virus, as important as they may be, are not so important that we should destroy our community and our humanity.”