A man was arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly spray painting a swastika onto a Lee Zeldin campaign sign, according to the Suffolk County Police Department.
Shortly after 10 a.m. on Sunday, the political sign was found painted with a swastika, “187,” and “Gambino” on the corner of West Pulaski Road and Oakwood Road in Huntington Station, police said. The numbers 187 are police code for the crime of murder.
After two days of investigating the incident, Suffolk detectives from the Hate Crimes Unit arrested Huntington resident Vincent J. Mckie, 41, outside his home on Oakwood Road. He was charged with first-degree aggravated harassment, a hate crime, and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He will be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on an unspecified later date.
The hate crime arrest connected to hateful messages on a Zeldin campaign sign came hours before Zeldin declared victory in the race to become the Republican candidate for New York State governor. In his speech, he spoke about wanting Asian and Jewish Americans to feel safe from hateful attacks that have risen in recent years.