UPDATE: On Wednesday, June 19, 55-year-old Alan Tatten was arrested and charged with Aggravated Harassment 2nd Hate Crime and Criminal Mischief 4th Hate Crime.
SHEEPSHEAD BAY – The NYPD need help to search for a man they believe is responsible for writing Islamophobic sentiments at a bus shelter and the entrance doors to a public school.
Last week, the words “Kill Arabs” were spray-painted on a B44 bus shelter on Avenue V and Nostrand Avenue. You can read more about the incident, what elected officials had to say, and how local activists responded here.
According to the NYPD, on the evening of Sunday, June 16, the words “Kill Arabs” and “Muslims Suck” were also spray painted– this time, on the entrance doors to P.S. 52, located at 2675 East 29 Street.
“This is a troubling incident that was non-school related, and we are working closely with NYPD as they conduct an investigation,” a Department of Education spokesperson told Bklyner. “Our schools are safe havens, and we will provide the school with any additional support needed.”
Cops believe both incidents, just blocks away from each other, are related. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the crimes.
Mayor Bill de Blasio commented on the hateful words and said, “Make no mistake — an attack on our Arab-American community is an attack on every single New Yorker. If you have any information on this vile and racist act, please contact the NYPD IMMEDIATELY.”
NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson also expressed his anger and said, “Disturbed to see this violent and hate-filled graffiti targeting the Arab community. Hate, of any kind, has no place in our City.”
The NYPD describes the suspect as a white man, approximately 60 years old, 5’10”, and 220 pounds. He is partially bald with 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 Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.