Sandusky police arrest man in connection to anti-semitic, racist, homophobic flyers

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 11:06 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - 19 News has learned a Sandusky man has been arrested and charged with ethnic intimidation.

Austin Rogers was questioned at his home by detectives on Wednesday, handcuffed, and taken to the Erie County Jail.

He’s accused of disseminating flyers with messages of hate directed at the Jewish community, Black people, and homosexuals.

Sandusky Police became aware of the hate-filled flyers being dropped off in the driveways of numerous homes after receiving concerned calls from residents.

In a video from a police body camera, detectives knock on Rogers’ door, he answers and tells police he just woke up.

An officer suggests they talk for a minute. You then see Rogers take a seat on his couch right under the large image of a Swastika.

When asked by detectives, “Why are you putting bags with rice in the driveways,” he answers they’re flyers and it’s not illegal to distribute them, but a detective abruptly informs him that it is in fact illegal. Rogers is then ordered to stand up and put his hands behind his back as he’s handcuffed.

Rogers is facing charges of Ethnic Intimidation, Aggravated Menacing, and Littering.

A box full of the flyers was found in his home and confiscated as evidence by police.

One detective said to Rogers, “You think people want to see that?”

People who live in the area say they’re concerned, but not surprised.

“Not really,” said one woman who asked not to be identified told 19 News.

A young man who also asked not to be identified said, “I think it’s still another person trying to push their agenda on other people. Because not everyone feels the same way that they do, and they’re just trying to make everyone feel the way they feel and it’s not fair to others.”

Others tell 19 News it’s okay to have opinions, but distributing material harmful to other people’s lives and judging them based on their religion, race or background is not okay.

Rogers was taken to the Erie County Jail.

Detectives did not say how they discovered who was leaving the flyers.