A Buffalo man has been charged with multiple felony and misdemeanor counts after allegedly spraypainting his own BMW vehicle with racial slurs and pro-Donald Trump messages.
18-year old Clifton Eutsey has been charged with insurance fraud, offering a false instrument for filing in the second degree, falsifying business records, and falsely reporting an incident. The insurance fraud charge is a felony.
The BMW was spraypainted with swastikas, pro-Klu Klux Klan and Donald Trump messages. The graffiti had been investigated as a potential hate crime after it was reported, but at some point Buffalo investigators seem to have realized that something didn’t check out about the idea of racist vandals targeting a random vehicle for pro-Trump and hateful spraypaint messages.
A woman named Emma Mills described herself as the owner of the car last month following the incident, but Erie County District Attorney John Flynn identified Eutsey as the owner when he announced the charges on Tuesday.
Eutsey is also facing criminal charges for illegal gun possession, stemming from an unrelated incident last month. He faces up to seven years in prison if he’s convicted of the fraud charges, and even more time if he’s convicted on the outstanding criminal charges.
Jussie Smollett probably could’ve devised a more convincing plot than this.
New York City Man Arrested in Brooklyn Hate Hoax, Vandalizing Synagogues
A Brooklyn man has been arrested for a likely hate hoax crime and vandalism of four synagogues. 39-year old Emil Benjamin has been charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime and vandalism in connection with his crime spree.
While Benjamin targeted synagogues and Jewish centers, he himself is Jewish, having mentioned as such in 2011 in an incident in which he claimed he was attacked in an anti-Semitic hate crime.
The far-left Anti Defamation League had raised alarms about the series of four incidents.
Truly disturbing & shocking incidents. Yet another sober reminder that we must do everything we can to stop #hate in its tracks. We have reached out to @nypdhatecrimes & encourage anyone with information to reach out to @nypdtips. https://t.co/NnAysFYtqk
— ADL New York / New Jersey (@ADL_NYNJ) December 30, 2020
Disturbing that this one man went on a hate-filled spree through Brooklyn over the weekend, vandalizing four synagogues and breaking into one. Hopeful that police find this individual quickly so he is held accountable for this brazen conduct. https://t.co/h2Ps7l3CCw
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) December 30, 2020
The hate crime enhancements on Benjamin’s criminal charges are being kept in place, even though he appears to have been targeting his own community in what was likely a cynical ploy.
The crime against the synagogues is the latest in a long series of ploys in which someone targets their own community in what is little more than a publicity stunt.
Correction: The article has been updated to distinguish between the charged suspect and a different Emil Benjamin.
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