NYC Cops Arrest Homeless Man for Lower Manhattan Swastika Vandalism Spree
Police in New York City have arrested a homeless man accused of spray painting swastikas on key sites in lower Manhattan during this week.
James Ryan, 39, was taken into custody Thursday on four charges of aggravated harassment and five charges related to criminal mischief and hate crime.
Ryan was captured on surveillance video on Monday evening as he painted a swastika on a column at the entrance to City Hall on Beekman Street and Park Row.
The following day, he was again seen on CCTV vandalizing the “Charging Bull” — a bronze statue of a bull in the Bowling Green public park — with the Nazi symbol. He was subsequently spotted fleeing northbound on Morris Street.
Ryan is also accused of drawing three swastikas on the wall of a construction site on Maiden Lane earlier this month.
Among those who expressed outrage at the brazen nature of the swastika vandalism was New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who ordered the New York State Police to investigate the incidents.
“No one should walk the streets in fear of hate, bigotry and antisemitism,” Hochul said. “An attack on a Jewish New Yorker is an attack on all of us. If you commit a hate crime, you are picking a fight with 20 million New Yorkers.”
Outgoing New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio also voiced condemnation of the vandalism.
“This would be outrageous anywhere in our city but it’s especially galling for it to happen outside the building where the people’s work is done,” De Blasio tweeted with reference to the swastika at City Hall.