- The Washington Times - Monday, August 19, 2002

U.S. Park Police have obtained an arrest warrant and are searching for a homeless man they say desecrated the National Mall and President's Park with swastikas and Nazi "SS" lightning bolts over the July 4 weekend in 1999.
Esyedepeea Aesfyza, 51, is named on a federal warrant issued Friday that charges him with covering traffic signal and other utility boxes with orange spray-painted swastikas and "SS" lightning bolts, according to Park Police.
Police, who received information that Mr. Aesfyza was still in the area, have been combing the haunts of the homeless for three days looking for him.
Born in Greece and known locally by the nickname "Zeus," Mr. Aesfyza frequents 14th Street NW, the Tidal Basin, the National Mall and Lafayette Park, where many of the hate symbols have appeared, Park Police said.
Police say the desecration violates Title 22 of the D.C. code, which specifically prohibits vandalism and defacing property with emblems or symbols that intimidate or strike fear.
"This is of concern to us," said Kevin B. Fornshill, a Park Police detective. "We take it very seriously."
Police say Mr. Aesfyza is responsible for at least four specific instances of vandalism.
In July 1999, a Park Police officer noted a swastika inside a circle and two lightning bolts on a traffic signal box located on the west side of the intersection of Madison Drive and Third Street.
Those graffiti are similar to other such vandalism found by police near Third Street and Old Washington Drive, 16th Street and Constitution Avenue, and 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, according to court documents.
Those four hate crimes were reported to have occurred on July 4 and 5 of 1999, court documents state.
Other incidents include several orange swastikas spray painted on a tree located on the northwest side of the Capitol Reflecting Pool.
Mr. Aesfyza has an imprisoned acquaintance in southern Virginia who has been asking investigators to hand over his Time Life books on Nazi Germany, racist fliers and a copy of "Mein Kamph."
"I received a letter from an imprisoned acquaintance of Zeus asking that I, the investigator, return property to Zeus or the inmate," said Mr. Fornshill.
Mr. Aesfyza was charged Nov. 15, 1998, by Defense Protective Services at the Navy Annex No. 9 in Arlington County after witnesses observed him defacing a utility box with orange spray paint of the same symbols, court documents state.
Park Police provided The Washington Times with a copy of a pamphlet Mr. Aesfyza distributed in 2000.
The pamphlet includes the swastikas in a circle and the lightning bolts. The pamphlet employs the word "Heil," and states, "Blessed be our beloved Fuhrer."
Anyone with information should call the U.S. Park Police at 202/690-5080.


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