Thursday, June 12, 2014

Two teens charged in hateful graffiti spree 

Two teens were charged with felony criminal mischief on Wednesday for racist and anti-Semitic graffiti on buildings and road signs on Buckley Road over the weekend, State Police said.

Shane Smith, 17, of county Route 12, Whitehall, and Devon P. Morris, 17, of Granville, were charged with third-degree criminal mischief in connection with spray-painting that was done to Big G’s Car Wash and an adjacent building.

They are accused of painting derisive names for minorities and Jewish people as well as threats to “kill” them. Swastikas were also painted.

The cost to remove the paint from the car wash alone was $700, police said.

Police said the phrases apparently didn’t target the owner of the car wash specifically.

Police said surveillance camera videos helped link the two to the vandalism.

The duo were arraigned in Fort Ann Town Court and sent to Washington County Jail for lack of bail.

State Police said the office of Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan will review the evidence for possible additional charges, including felony counts of making a terroristic threat for Internet threats of which the two are suspected.

Among the phrases painted on one of the buildings was the letters “NYND.”

It was unclear what the phrase meant. But police believe the men were responsible for a page on Facebook under the name NYND,

The page was said to be established for a “white nationalist militia located in upstate New York.” There were numerous posts that made threats of violence toward minority groups, and one on June 4 that warned readers they would “know who we are soon.”

The page’s information section showed it was based on county Route 12 in Whitehall, and police said the address listed was Smith’s.

The page was created late last month and active as of Tuesday, but had been removed from Facebook as of Wednesday morning.

Smith’s personal Facebook page, under the name of Shane Smith (Mountain Man), shows a picture of a man wearing a ski mask holding a gun in front of a Nazi flag.


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