A former policeman with the NYPD was arrested on Sunday after reportedly spray painting a string of anti-Semitic messages on cars and and buildings in Brooklyn, Haaretz reports. The vandalism, which occurred Saturday night in the Borough Park neighborhood, included spray painted swastikas near a synagogue and graffiti on the doors of a Jewish elementary school.
Police arrested Michael Setiawan, 36, whom police say “separated” from the NYPD in 2007 after serving in it for two years. He is being charged with criminal mischief and aggravated harassment, both as hate crimes.
The New York Daily News, which posted video footage from a surveillance camera of a man spray painting the front door of the Bnos Zion Bobov School, reports that Setiawan may suffer from mental illness. They quote a police source who says Setiawan left the force in 2007 due to his depression.
Borough Park Assemblyman Dov Hikind released a statement saying, “Hate attacks on our community will not go unpunished.”
Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.