It was a sight Wyndemere resident Michael Gilberg wasn’t expecting to see when he was told his garage door had been damaged early Tuesday morning.
Confused as to what happened, two security guards told Gilberg to come outside. What he saw shocked and angered him.
A large, black swastika -- with the spray paint still fresh -- stirred Gilberg’s emotions.
“It’s disgusting, that’s about the easiest way to describe it,” Gilberg said. “Obviously whoever did it is a very, very sick person.”
Gilberg, 68, and his wife, Ellen, are both Jewish and have lived in Wyndemere, a gated community located off Livingston Road, for 12 years. A retired lawyer, Gilberg said this isn’t the first time he’s been the target of hate while living in Wyndemere.
A few weeks ago, Gilberg said he received a letter in the mail that consisted of a drawing of a person whose fist had a middle finger extending from it. The return address was also phonetically obscene, Gilberg said. He turned the letter over to the Collier Sheriff’s office immediately.
A Collier deputy who responded to Gilberg’s home Tuesday morning reported that the spray-painted symbol was easily visible from the roadway. While they currently do not have any leads to the vandalism, Gilberg hopes the letter will help solve the crime. The report noted that another case related to Gilberg was under investigation.
“Whoever did this didn’t have the guts to say that I offended them or that I did something wrong,” he said. “Instead, they slink around in the night and do this.”
Neighbor and Wyndemere Homeowners Association President Maureen Bradbury, a Realtor in Naples, said the community is appalled.
“We have several other residents who are Jewish and none of them have ever had a problem,” Bradbury said. “We’re really upset that it happened and we support our Jewish community.”
Bradbury said Gilberg is a unique homeowner to the Wyndemere community in that he never signed a purchase to join the neighborhood, making him independent of the neighborhood. However, she and Gilberg communicate often on issues that arise within Wyndemere, she said.
“We try to keep it positive, but he’s not always happy,” she said.
This isn’t the first time in recent history that a Naples resident’s garage door had been defaced. In June 2009, East Naples resident Ruth Dorfman was the victim of a hate crime when she discovered two swastikas on her garage.