The ex-NYPD officer who was arrested for allegedly scrawling anti-Semitic graffiti in Hasidic neighborhoods in Brooklyn earlier this month claims he did it because “cheap” Jews stiffed him on tips when he was a deliveryman, according to court papers.
Former NYPD officer Michael Setiawan, 36, was arrested on May 4th after surveillance video allegedly caught him tagging cars and buildings—including an elementary school—in and near Borough Park with swastikas and anti-Semitic phrase like "Fuck you Jew,” and "Jews ain’t shit." And according to court papers, Setiawan was exacting revenge for getting shortchanged by Jewish patrons in the past: when his arresting officers asked why he committed the acts of graffiti, Setiawan allegedly answered, "Because I don’t like those people...Because they’re cheap … When I was a delivery man they never gave me anything."
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced yesterday that Setiawan has been arraigned on a 39-count indictment, with charges including fourth-degree criminal mischief as a hate crime and making graffiti. “Hate crimes such as these are hurtful and must not be tolerated in a civilized society, particularly in Brooklyn, where we embrace diversity," Thompson said in a statement.
Setiawan, who was arraigned through a video hookup in Bellevue Hospital's psych ward, was ordered held on $75,000 bail, and will be back in court on Friday. According to prosecutors, he faces up to four years in prison on each hate crime charge if convicted.