Former NYPD Officer Arrested in Boro Park Graffiti Hate Crime - The Jewish Voice
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Former NYPD Officer Arrested in Boro Park Graffiti Hate Crime

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Michael Setiawan, 36, was arrested for spray painting anti-Semitic slogans in Boro Park. He vandalized Yeshivas and vehicles with swastikas and other Jew hating symbols.
Michael Setiawan, 36, was arrested for spray painting anti-Semitic slogans in Boro Park. He vandalized Yeshivas and vehicles with swastikas and other Jew hating symbols.
Police have charged a former NYPD officer in connection with anti-Semitic vandalism in Borough Park, Brooklyn. Michael Setiawan, 36 years old, of Queens is charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime, aggravated harassment, and criminal mischief. Setiawan was fired from the police department in 2007.

The swastikas and anti-Semitic phrases were plastered on at least 15 cars and 4 buildings, including a school. Police received the report of the graffiti in Borough Park at about 8:30 Saturday night. The suspect’s image was captured on a surveillance camera. Three cars were targeted on Dahill Road and two others on 37th Street. There was also vandalism at a gas station at 38th Street and 14th Avenue. Borough Park has one of Brooklyn’s largest Orthodox communities.

“The community is very disturbed to see these hate messages being spread right before the end of Shabbos,” said Councilman David Greenfield. “These kinds of acts can’t be tolerated.

Council member Brad Lander said “I’m outraged by these hate-filled, anti-Semitic acts. Hatred has no place in our city. “It’s a horrible thing that unfortunately happens too often,” Assemblyman Hikind said in a statement released Sunday morning

Council member Greenfield and CB12 heads were on the scene as soon as the vandal was reported and worked with the police throughout the night to identify Graffiti locations and catch the suspect.

Borough park Shomrim provided the NYPD with a plate number of the car seen in one of the surveillance video cameras last night, this led to an all night search, the ex-cop was picked up early Sunday morning in Queens.

“Heartfelt thanks and praise go to the NYPD’s 66th Precinct and Hate Crimes Task Force for their great work on this outrageous anti-Semitic graffiti,” Councilman Brad Lander said. “They moved quickly, worked through the night, and made an arrest early this morning.”

According to Police sources at the 66th Precinct, the key to cracking this case was input from a young man in the community who witnessed the perpetrator in action and memorized his license plate number, which the boy then provided to BP Shomrim, who immediately alerted law enforcement authorities.

“This is a classic example of the importance of community involvement and the need to speak up if you see something suspicious”, State Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) said in a press release Sunday morning.

NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said in a statement, “These anti-semitic crimes are outrageous, sickening and have no place in New York City- period. I thank the NYPD hate crimes task-force for their quick action last night.”

Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director, issued the following statement:

We applaud the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force for their swift and diligent investigation of this hateful crime. The expeditious arrest and charges send a clear message that crimes like this are not tolerated in our community, and that perpetrators of these crimes will face serious and immediate consequences for their actions. It is distressing that a person once sworn to protect could do something like this.

Unfortunately, while we have seen an overall decrease in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in our city over the past few years, Jewish New Yorkers and Jewish institutions are still being targeted and such acts are vivid reminders that we must remain vigilant in our response.

We commend the various public figures, including Council members David Greenfield, Brad Lander, and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, for their strong condemnations and steadfast work in combating hate in our communities.

According to ADL’s annual audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, New York City experienced a total of 133 incidents in 2013, including acts of assault, harassment and vandalism, compared to 172 incidents in 2012.

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