(April 14, 2021 / JNS) Authorities have arrested a man accused of being responsible for several anti-Semitic graffiti incidents last month in Coral Gables, Fla., police said on Tuesday.
Benjamin Michael Garcia, 30, is facing criminal mischief vandalism charges and could face hate-crime charges as well, NBC Miami reported, citing law enforcement in Coral Gables. He vandalized several construction sites and buildings in the city, just outside of Miami, as well as neighboring areas.
“Today, our detectives arrested an individual who has been tormenting the Jewish community using anti-Semitic graffiti,” Chief Edward Hudak said in a statement.
Officer Kelly Denham, a spokeswoman for the Coral Gables Police Department, said two police officers used surveillance footage from a local business to identify Garcia. Authorities noticed that he was spray-painting anti-Semitic messages and were disturbed by the sight.
Said Denham: “When you have this type of hate, it bothers the officers, even to make them work harder.”
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