SCHENECTADY — A city man who claimed he found two swastikas on his Chiswell Road home last month spray-painted them himself, police have concluded.
Police on Monday charged Andrew King, 54, with one count of falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor. He was being held pending arraignment.
Detectives made the arrest about 5 p.m., police spokesman Sgt. Matthew Dearing said. Dearing commended detectives for their work in the case, but he did not offer details on how they concluded King painted the swastikas himself.
The charge is based on King reporting the incident to police the morning of Feb. 10. King repeated his allegedly false account to multiple media outlets, including the Gazette.
King, who is Jewish, told the Gazette that he discovered the swastikas while clearing snow from his driveway.
“Just a vein of fear went right through me,” King had told the Gazette. “All that history attached to that Nazi symbol.”
There have been reports of swastika vandalism around the country ever since Donald J. Trump’s was elected president. The Nazi symbols of the World War II era have appeared on houses, cars and churches and have often linked to support for Trump. King portrayed himself as a Trump fan.
King also gave his thoughts on a possible response to whoever damaged his home. “I just wanted to put my hands around their necks,” he had said.
He indicated then that he would leave the swastikas up for at least some period of time.
“This can show people who thrive on hate, in my opinion, that love trumps hate in the long run,” King had said. “I will consult with the religious community and see how long we should leave them up, Jewish, Christian and Muslim.”
Swastika graffiti also showed up locally in the Schoharie County village of Esperance on New Year’s Day. Multiple symbols were spray-painted on several buildings and signs. State police later accused a 13-year-old boy of that spree. State police said they believed the boy did not act out of hatred.