The former NYPD cop arrested earlier this month for spray painting a string of anti-Semitic messages on cars and and buildings in Brooklyn was arraigned Friday, the New York Post reports. Michael Setiawan, who has been under observation at Bellevue Hospital since his arrest, was charged with 15 acts of vandalism, nine of which were hate crimes.
According to the Post, court papers offer a small amount of insight into Setiawan’s motives for spray painting swastikas on a Borough Park synagogue and “tagging” the Bnos Zion Bobov Elementary School. He reportedly told arresting offices he did it “Because I don’t like those people.”
When cops asked why he didn’t like Jewish people, Setiawan answered, “Because they’re cheap … When I was a delivery man they never gave me anything, ” the papers state.
Initial reports of the vandalism suggested that Setiawan may suffer from mental illness, and that he left the police force in 2007 due to depression.
Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.