Alan Spitalnik, a Jewish truck driver for the Parks Department on Staten Island, says he walked into a break room at Forestry Division headquarters last Wednesday to find three tree pruners performing an anti-Semitic skit for eight co-workers, who all "burst out laughing" when he entered. A source tells the Daily News that one worker wore a motorcycle helmet emblazoned with a swastika, another had a Hitler-style mustache, and the third comically brandished a flaming aerosol can. The trio then apologized, explaining that it was just a joke.
The Parks Department is investigating, but Spitalnik says he feels like he's the one being punished because after he reported the incident they transferred him out of the Forestry Division against his wishes "for safety reasons." But maybe he's better off; a friend tells that News that Spitalnik has called his anti-Semitic work environment "a horror on Staten Island, it's the regular routine." Earlier this summer, Spitalnik complained to supervisors that the very same co-worker with the flaming aerosol can had told him "he'd like to shove him and his mother in a microwave oven." No action was taken after that one, but a Parks official says this time the men could be suspended or fired.