Roslyn Harbor man accused of using antisemitic slurs toward neighbors
A Roslyn Harbor man is accused of going on an explosive tirade using antisemitic slurs toward his neighbors.
Thomas Cerna, an employee at David Lerner Associates, was arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree aggravated harassment. Court documents say Cerna made comments, honked his horn and made a slashing throat gesture across his neck while pointing at his neighbor's house.
Elina and Eric Goldman, who are Jewish, moved to Roslyn Harbor from the city last year. They say there's been no prior antisemitic incidents with Cerna but that they have disagreed with him over cutting down trees on their shared property line. The Goldmans say nothing justifies what they experienced.
"Eric is the grandson of Holocaust survivors, six concentration camps," says Elina. "I came here when I was 3 years old as a Jewish refuge from the Ukraine, and so our families literally built lives here so that we didn't have to face this type of harassment, persecution and prejudice. When we decided to move to Roslyn Harbor from the city, it was the last thing we ever thought we would face."
David Lerner Associates issued a statement saying, "David Lerner Associates is aware of an incident involving one of its employees that allegedly took place at someone's house after business hours, which was brought to the company's attention via social media. David Lerner Associates takes these matters seriously and holds its employees to the highest level of integrity. David Lerner Associates does not publicly discuss personnel matters. As David Lerner Associates conducts an internal review, the company will review its code of conduct and annual anti-harassment training program for any needed enhancements, including tolerance and sensitivity training. David Lerner Associates unequivocally condemns any speech or conduct which might be deemed unlawful, racist, or antisemitic.
The Goldmans tell News 12 they have received overwhelming support from their other neighbors and the community.
Cerna is due back in court next month.