The community in Chinatown, New York, is dismayed after learning that someone decided to spread hate on Saturday by vandalizing a police car with some pretty hateful imagery. Reports say that an unidentified suspect noticed the unmarked FDNY car parked near Chrystie St. and Hester St. at around 1:30 A.M. on August 26.
It remains unclear what prompted the individual to act, but they decided to begin defacing the vehicle. The suspect reportedly drew a Nazi symbol, a Swastika, on the driver’s side door. Since the police vehicle was unmarked, it’s not clear whether the suspect knew that the car belonged to the authorities or not.
In a stroke of bad luck for the suspect, the whole incident was caught on a nearby surveillance camera. The suspect’s photograph has been released by authorities, who are seeking out the identity of the suspect. What’s more, the Hate Crimes Task Force has stepped in to assist with the investigation. If arrested, then the suspect could face substantial charges.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is being asked to contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. Any information provided will be completely confidential.
Hate Crimes and Vandalism in New York: What You Need to Know
Upon reading the story above, you might initially think the ordeal isn’t all that serious. Think again! Under New York law, vandalism is considered a pretty serious offense, and hate crimes are taken extremely seriously. As far as the vandalism itself, this type of behavior falls under the legal category of criminal mischief.
The least severe vandalism charge, criminal mischief in the fourth degree, can result in up to one year in jail and fines. The most severe vandalism charge, criminal mischief in the first degree, could land you in prison for up to 25 years. This charge is considered a Class B felony, so it will also carry life-long repercussions as well.
Further, the Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the situation above, which means hate crime charges could get levied against the suspect, too. Under New York law, hate crimes are described as crimes that are committed with the intention of targeting a person’s specific race, color, nationality, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, sexual orientation, age, or disability.
A hate crime conviction could result in a prison term of up to 10 years.
Are You Facing Criminal Charges in New York?
Have you every been charged with a hate crime in New York? If so, then it’s important to understand the severity of your situation! Not only will your charges likely be more severe than they otherwise would, but you might also face professional and personal consequences if you get convicted of a hate crime, too.
The good news is that you still have a chance to defend yourself if you haven’t been convicted yet. Hiring a good criminal defense attorney can help you explain yourself and avoid the worst penalties allowed under New York law.
Request a case evaluation with our attorneys now if you’re currently facing criminal accusations.