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Wallingford man paints 2 swastikas on property as part of feud against land developer

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WALLINGFORD--A man who is angry about what a land developer is doing near his property has taken matters into his own hands, but in a way that many are claiming is controversial.

Wallingford swastika 1Steven Yost, who lives on New Cheshire Road in Wallingford, claims that a land developer has been making dirt mounds in his area, which is causing a lot of dust to come into his home and pool.

Neighbors agreed that the developer isn't complying with promises made to the town, including that he would wet the dirt to prevent dust from circulating.

However, others haven't gone to the same measures as Yost, who has painted a swastika on a tarp along his fence and another on top of his garage, which has since faded considerably.Wallingford swastika 2

Yost says he doesn't have anything against Jews and is doing this to anger the developer and prevent the sale of the developer's land lots. However, he also says he doesn't mind if Jews are offended by his actions.

When asked what he'd do if the developer built a wall blocking Yost's swastikas from view to others, he said he'd put it up higher or use a flag with a swastika painted on it to get the message across.

Steve Ginsburg, Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League, calls the swastika a universal symbol of hate.

"He knows exactly what he’s doing with this symbol and he knows that this symbol, which is repugnant, is not appropriate for use in a civilized society," said Ginsburg.

Ginsburg said he knows the Wallingford Police Department is aware of Yost's display, but Yost has done nothing criminal.

He said, "In America, under the constitution and the right to free speech, the use of the swastika as a symbol on your own private property is legal. If he is not out to intimidate or put fear of imminent harm to an individual or group he is constitutionally protected."