BROOKHAVEN, Ga. — A man is facing felony hate crime charges after Brookhaven Police said he defaced several buildings with antisemitic messages.
The man was arrested Monday after officers connected him to graffiti found at several locations, police said.
They had been investigating since Nov. 1 when officers first found "Jews Kill Blacks" spray painted on the side of a townhome near Apple Valley Road and Dresden Drive. More antisemitic messaging was spray painted by an overpass on Dresden Drive, officers said.
Officers were later tipped off about more graffiti found on the University Baptist Church sign. Another derogatory term for those of the Jewish faith was also found spray painted on a stop sign by Dresden Drive and Peachtree View, according to a photo provided by the Brookhaven Police Department.
"Brookhaven Public Works immediately responded to the scene and removed the graffiti from all locations," investigators said.
On Nov. 11, officers were called to the 1400 block of Dresden Drive, close to where officers were called a little more than a week ago, to investigate antisemitic graffiti found outside on the windows of Brookhaven Wines and MyEyeDr. It was immediately removed, according to police.
"Investigators were able to utilize CCTV cameras that are strategically positioned along Dresden Drive in 2021 by the City of Brookhaven to capture the suspect parking his vehicle near the intersection of Caldwell Road & Dresden Drive during the overnight hours of November 11," officers said in a news release. "The suspect was then seen walking along Dresden Drive prior to the act. Additional traffic camera footage provided investigators with the identity of the suspect vehicle used during both incidents."
The security video helped guide police to the man's home in Peachtree Corners where officers questioned him about the graffiti. He declined to make a statement, according to police, and was taken into custody and booked into the DeKalb County Jail.
He now faces four felony counts of hate crime, felony vandalism at a place of worship, and three counts of loitering and prowling - which are misdemeanor charges.
“There is no place for hate in Brookhaven, whether it is antisemitic graffiti or any other kind of divisive rhetoric which seeks to target, marginalize, or stigmatize any racial or ethnic group,” Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst said in a news release. “We have come too far collectively to allow the actions of one or more persons to try to reverse the progress we have made. I commend the Brookhaven Police Department for their tireless work and dedication which led to an arrest of this heinous crime.”