“You’re a filthy Jew” screamed at Publix in West Boca Raton, Police respond

Boca Raton, FL
- A man raging against Jews screamed antisemitic slurs in the Hanukkah section of the Reserve Shopping Center Publix at 9720 Clint Moore Road Wednesday. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.

While PBSO did not initially reply to a request for details, an incident report obtained by other measures by BocaNewsNow.com, and statements from witnesses, suggest an ugly and potentially dangerous situation in the Publix which is in a highly Jewish section of the area. The shopping center sits on the border of West Boca Raton and West Delray Beach near The Oaks, Seven Bridges, Boca Bridges, Boca Lotus, The Bridges and Mizner Country Club. It is also directly across the street from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office District 7 substation.

One of the witnesses, who asked that her name not be used fearing retaliation from the suspect, said she started crying as the man started screaming. Her family members were “shot in the head by Nazis during the Holocaust,” she said.

“The man screamed ‘Six million more should have died. I was reaching to get Hanukkah cookies for my kids and the man then mumbled ‘what are you, an fucking filthy Jew?”

“I looked at him,” said the woman, “and he said ‘you heard me you filthy Kike.”

The woman, and others, say the Publix manager on duty did nothing. BocaNewsNow.com has the manager’s name but we are not publishing it at this time.

“He didn’t say one word to me,” said a witness. “We asked the manager for help but he did nothing.”

A Publix corporate spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but sent this statement roughly two hours after this story first appeared:

“The store was made aware of the issue and the manager in charge reached out to local law enforcement. Upon law enforcement’s arrival, it became an issue for them to handle.”

But witnesses say it wasn’t Publix management that called police but one of the victims of the verbal, antisemitic assault. Deputies reportedly told witnesses that they are aware of the suspect, a man in his 60s driving a Black Volvo, but couldn’t do anything as interactions with the man are being handled by PBSO’s “intelligence department.”

PBSO has not yet responded to a request for comment.

The suspect does not have the same physical description as a nearby Century Village resident who was arrested in 2018 for screaming “Heil Hitler” at an area house of worship just an hour before the synagogue mass shooting in Pittsburgh.

UPDATE 4:50 p.m.: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office confirms the incident and reports that deputies spoke with the suspect, Joseph Scandiffio, Jr., at his residence. The man is identified as being in his 60s, bald and walks with a wooden stick, possibly a cane. The suspect apparently told police that after the back-and-forth with the woman that he also “may have called her a cunt.”

Joseph Scandiffio, Jr., was NOT charged in the Publix incident. Police say it’s a freedom of speech issue. However, public documents reveal a history of interaction with the justice system in Palm Beach County.