The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating anti-Muslim graffiti that was spray painted on the doors of a school in Sheepshead Bay over the weekend. They have released footage of a suspect, who is wanted for criminal mischief. [Update: The police arrested a man who lives a block away from the school for the incident; more details below.]
According to police, the incident occurred on June 16th, at around 8:49 p.m., when an "unidentified male spray painted anti-Muslim statements on several entrance doors to P.S. 52, located at 2675 East 29 Street." The phrases included "Kill Arabs" and "Muslims suck."
A school employee reportedly discovered the graffiti on Monday morning.
City Council Member Chaim Deutsch shared images of graffiti saying "Kill Arabs" on a bus shelter on Monday:
— Councilman Deutsch (@ChaimDeutsch) June 17, 2019
Governor Andrew Cuomo has also ordered state police to assist in the investigation.
This is sickening.
I am directing the @NYSPolice Hate Crimes Unit to assist in the investigation into this heinous incident.
There is no place for hate in our state, and anyone found responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.https://t.co/17VaYMwOAp
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 19, 2019
The suspect in the school incident is described as being about 60 years old and 220 pounds with partially bald white hair and a beard. He was last seen wearing a grey T-shirt, dark blue pants, black sneakers and black headphones.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, on Twitter @NYPDTips.
Update: The police announced that Alan Tatten, 55, was arrested for the incidents. He was charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime and criminal mischief as a hate crime. He also lives a block away from the school.