The NYPD has arrested the man they believe is responsible for a wave of anti-semitic graffiti found in Brooklyn last night. Police say the unnamed suspect tagged nearly two dozen locations with swastikas and anti-Semitic phrases. The suspect in custody is reportedly an ex-cop.
According to JP Updates, "Video surveillance at the Bobov Girls School on 14th Avenue and 50th Street showed an individual spraying hate graffiti on the door of the school at around 8:50pm. According to Shomrim, 20 locations of anti-Semitic graffiti have already been identified in Boro Park. Presumed to be be done by one individual."
City Councilman David Greenfield said last night, "The community is very disturbed to see these hate messages being spread right before the end of Shabbos. These kinds of acts can’t be tolerated. We are working with the NYPD and Shomrim and we will do everything in our power to catch the person." City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito issued a statement this morning about the incidents as well: "These anti-semitic crimes are outrageous, sickening and have no place in New York City—period."
Photograph by Jacob Kornbluh/JP Updates
This morning, Greenfield Tweeted, "NYPD has suspect in custody after working thru the night to solve this terrible crime of anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed throughout Boro Park!" And JP Updates reports that the Shomrim gave the NYPD a license plate number seen in one of the videos. They say the suspect was then picked up this morning in Queens: "The person in custody has been identified as a former NYPD officer from the 68th precinct. He was fired in 2007, cops say."
In a statement, Greenfield adds, "The fact that the suspect is a former member of the NYPD is certainly shocking. However, it makes the NYPD's quick response in apprehending and arresting him even more impressive."
[UPDATE / 4:40 p.m.] The NYPD has identified the suspect as 36-year-old Michael Setiawan. Setiawan, who lives in Bellerose, Queens, is charged with 19 counts of criminal mischief as a hate crime, 19 counts of aggravated harassment as a hate crime, and 19 counts of criminal mischief.