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NY man arrested for painting swastikas on own home

Schenectady resident, who claims to be Jewish, charged with reporting a false crime; local rabbi says man never converted

Andrew King, who was arrested on March 20, 2017, for falsely claiming his home was graffitied with swastikas, February 10, 2017 (Screen capture: Daily Gazette)
Andrew King, who was arrested on March 20, 2017, for falsely claiming his home was graffitied with swastikas, February 10, 2017 (Screen capture: Daily Gazette)

A New York man who claimed he was the target of anti-Semitic graffiti was arrested on Monday on suspicion that he daubed the swastikas on his home himself.

Andrew King, who says he is Jewish, reported to police on February 10 that vandals had drawn two swastikas on the wall of his house in Schenectady, in upstate New York. He said that he was clearing snow from his driveway when he saw the symbols.

“Just a vein of fear went right through me,” King told the Daily Gazette at that time. “All that history attached to that Nazi symbol.”

However, after investigating the claim, police concluded that King himself painted the swastikas and the 54-year old was arrested on the charge of reporting a false crime.

Sgt. Matthew Dearing from the Schenectady police force told BuzzFeed News that King pleaded not guilty to the charge and was jailed with bail set at $500.

Andrew King, accused of reporting a false crime, shows News10 a swastika daubed outside his home in Schenectady, New York, February 10. 2017 (Screen capture: News10.com)
Andrew King, accused of reporting a false crime, shows News10 a swastika daubed outside his home in Schenectady, New York, February 10. 2017 (Screen capture: News10.com)

The rabbi of the local synagogue, Congregation Gates of Heaven, told BuzzFeed News that he had known King for a decade, but that the man had never converted to Judaism. He added that King was no longer welcome at the synagogue due to his erratic behavior.

“This has brought a sense of shame to the community,” Rabbi Matt Cutler said. “We knew there was something peculiar about the vandalism.”

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