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Man accused of painting swastikas on own home appears in court

Man accused of painting swastikas on own home appears in court

Ordered held on $500 bail
Man accused of painting swastikas on own home appears in court
Andrew King stands in the doorway of his Chiswell Avenue home Feb. 10, 2017.
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER

SCHENECTADY -- The man accused of lying to police about swastikas painted on his house was ordered held this morning on $500 bail.

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Andrew King, 54, faces a misdemeanor charge of falsely reporting an incident. Police said he told them someone spray painted two swastikas on his Chiswell Road home on Feb. 10, but a police investigation concluded King painted them himself, police said.

Police arrested King at 5 p.m. Monday at his home and held him for arraignment until Tuesday morning. He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, Julia Simone.

Simone also asked for bail, saying King indicated he is in counseling with Catholic Charities. She did not say why he was in counseling.

She also asked that King's case be screened for inclusion in the alternative treatment court program, which is for defendants with mental health issues.

A decision on whether he will be screened will come at a future court appearance.

Prosecutor Mike Nobles noted King has an out-of-state criminal conviction, but none locally.

Judge Robert Hoffman set bail at $500, or $1,500 bond. King was still being held as of Tuesday afternoon.

He appeared in court still in street clothes, with black dress pants and a blue buttoned-down shirt. He also appeared to have bruises and swelling under both eyes.

He made a statement as he was brought into the courtroom, the contents of which weren't clear from the gallery.

Simone confirmed later that, in the court statement, he attributed his injuries to police.

A police spokesman said Tuesday morning that there was no altercation with detectives when they arrested him.

Last month, King offered his account of the swastika vandalism to The Daily Gazette and other news outlets. He said he is Jewish and that he discovered the swastikas while clearing snow from his driveway.

King also gave his thoughts on a possible response to whoever damaged his home: "I just wanted to put my hands around their necks."

King faces an unrelated violation harassment charge related to a Feb. 15 incident at the county office building. According to police, he pointed his hand and finger in the shape of a gun and told a woman, "you better take care of yourself," before making a reference to the woman's daughters, according to court documents.

Paperwork did not explain King's connection with the woman.

Court records indicate similar allegations against King from September 2015, when he was accused of making the same finger gesture to a social worker at the same office building and threatening to throw her out the window, according to court documents. The woman was overseeing a visit between King and his child.

King pleaded guilty in that case to the violation of disorderly conduct and received time served, records show. Violations are not considered crimes.

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