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Man admits lying in Schenectady swastika case

Man admits lying in Schenectady swastika case

He is to get 3 years of probation
Man admits lying in Schenectady swastika case
Andrew King stands in the doorway of his Chiswell Avenue home in Schenectady in February.
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER

SCHENECTADY — A city resident admitted in court last week that he lied to police about how swastikas ended up painted on his house, according to court officials.

Andrew King, 54, appeared in City Court and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor falsely reporting an incident in connection with the Feb. 10 incident at King's Chiswell Road home.

He admitted he spray-painted swastikas on his own home and then falsely reported to city police that an unknown person painted the offensive symbols there, Schenectady County District Attorney's Office officials said.

In return for his plea, King is to receive three years of probation. He earlier spent about nine days in custody, held on $500 bail.

"A falsely reported hate crime is, in one sense, as bad as a real crime," Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said in a prepared statement. "It stigmatizes a group of people, increases fear and tensions and could encourage real copycat crimes. 

"Mr. King put our community on edge in perpetrating this hoax, and we hope that this disposition will provide him some needed supervision and assistance," Carney said.

King's initial attorney indicated at his March arraignment that King was in counseling with Catholic Charities, though she did not explain why he was in counseling at the time. His current attorney, Christopher Savino, did not return a call for comment Friday.

King pleaded guilty to the charge originally filed against him in March. Police said he told them someone spray-painted two swastikas on his house, but a police investigation concluded King painted them himself.

King made similar comments in interviews with The Daily Gazette and other news outlets. He identified himself as Jewish and said that he discovered the swastikas while clearing snow from his driveway.

Judge Robert W. Hoffman presided over the King plea.

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