City police are hoping that home security cameras and an unusual type of paint will lead them to the vandal or vandals who rampaged through Midtown over the weekend, leaving crudely painted Nazi and satanic symbols in their wake.
Kingston police believe the culprit or culprits struck sometime in the early morning hours of Sunday, Oct. 21. Police began receiving reports of the vandalism around 8 a.m. Police eventually found the graffiti at 18 separate locations in a swath of Midtown covering both sides of Broadway. Among the locations hit were the front doors of residences and vehicles parked on the street. The symbols included what appear to be incorrectly drawn (facing the opposite way from the version of the ancient symbol hijacked by the Nazis) swastikas and similarly amateurish pentagrams along with “666” and “SMH.” KPD Lt. Thierry Croizer said that it appeared the vandal struck at random. “We don’t think there was any intended target,” said Croizer.
Croizer said that based on the graffiti’s locations, the vandals likely followed a route from Madden Street over to Grand Street and Smith Avenue, before traveling on Downs Street to Broadway. From Broadway, Croizer said, the trail of hateful graffiti crosses over onto Franklin and Liberty streets. Croizer said detectives hoped a home or business video surveillance system had caught the culprit either in the act or moving between locations. Croizer called on anyone with a video security system along the vandals suspected route to check footage from early Sunday morning and report any unusual individuals or groups depicted in the footage.
Croizer added that detectives were focusing in on another clue, the type of paint used in the crime. Rather than the acrylic markers or spray paint favored by run-of-the-mill taggers, the vandal in this case used a black rubberized type of paint typically used to line truck beds or patch tires. Croizer added that city police were actively investigating the case and were determined to see the culprit or culprits brought to justice.
“We can’t have this happening in our city, it divides us too much,” said Croizer. “We want to put a stop to this as soon as possible.”
While police continue their hunt for the hate-vandal, community leaders expressed outrage and alarm over the incident. In response to the vandalism, Ward 4 Alderwoman Rita Worthington called for a meeting at the Kingston Public Library scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25. Worthington said KPD Chief Egidio Tinti would address the crowd and give an update on the investigation.
“This is very disturbing, especially since Kingston has gone to great lengths to make this a welcoming and inclusive city,” said Worthington. “For this to happen is a slap in the face.”
City Republicans, meanwhile, issued a statement blaming the vandalism on unnamed outsiders and linked the incident to the ongoing campaign for New York’s 19th Congressional District. A statement on the City of Kingston Republican Committee’s Facebook page reads, “… There is an element out there wants people to think that if you love your home, your community and your country, that you hate other things or other people. This is not us … This must be coming from outside the area. Like [Current NY 19 Democratic candidate Antonio] Delgado and the campaign they are running is coming from outside the area. Just like Hillary Clinton did. Just like Sean Eldridge did. Just like Zephyr Teachout did.”