A former New York City police officer was arrested over the weekend for allegedly spray-painting anti-Semitic messages on buildings and cars in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn.
A school building and 20 private homes and vehicles were splattered with red paint and messages of hate Saturday in what the Jewish Forward dubbed a “vandalism spree.”
Michael Setiawan, 36, a former police officer for New York City’s 69th precinct, was reportedly arrested Sunday and accused of posting the graffiti.
An individual alleged to be Setiawan was caught on a surveillance camera painting the door of the Bnos Zion Bobov School. See footage below:
The messages left on the buildings reportedly included swastikas and terms including “F*** you Jew” and “Jew cheap s***.”
The community was rattled over the incident, with locals and officials decrying the acts.
“Hate is not a Brooklyn value, and I repudiate any lowlife individual who would spread their prejudiced invective,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said.
Setiawan, who was reportedly sent for a mental evaluation following his arrest, is being charged with hate crimes, including 19 counts of criminal mischief and aggravated harassment, according to the New York Daily News.
A young boy reported the suspect after he said he saw him spray-painting a car and took down his license plate as he drove away, WNYC-TV reported.
Setiawan’s father, Thomas, told media that his son suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts after leaving the NYPD in 2007, though he said the family is unsure why he left the force.
(H/T: Jewish Forward)