Brooklyn, NY – Kings County District Attorney Kenneth Thompson has announced that a former police officer has been arraigned on a 39-count indictment charging him with multiple counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief as a hate crime, criminal mischief, and making graffiti in connection with an anti-Semitic graffiti spree in Borough Park earlier this month.
Thompson said, “Hate crimes such as these are hurtful and must not be tolerated in a civilized society, particularly in Brooklyn, where we embrace diversity.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Michael Setiawan, 36, a former New York City police officer. The defendant was arraigned on Friday, May 23, before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Daniel K. Chun, via video conference between the courthouse and Bellevue Hospital, where the defendant has been under observation since his arrest on May 4, 2014. He was ordered held on $75,000 bail and to return to court on May 30, 2014. If convicted, the defendant faces up to four years in prison on each of the hate crime charges.
The District Attorney said that the indictment covers 15 separate acts of vandalism, including nine which are charged as hate crimes. All of the incidents are alleged to have occurred on the night of May 3, 2014, in Borough Park, and were discovered by residents. The defendant is alleged to have used pink spray paint to scrawl graffiti on, among other things, multiple vehicles, storefronts and the Bobover Bnos Tzion Elementary School.
The case was investigated by detectives assigned to the New York City Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force.