Security and Safety

New York MTA Police charge man with hate crimes for graffiti incidents

Posted on March 8, 2017

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that a man suspected of multiple incidents of bias graffiti at Pennsylvania Station was arrested and charged for committing a series of hate crimes, reinforcing that New York has zero tolerance for bigotry or discrimination in any form. The arrest and charges highlight the aggressive actions the state is undertaking to combat the growth of hate crimes and anti-Semitism.

“This arrest sends a clear message that all hate crimes will be thoroughly investigated, and we will prosecute those found responsible for perpetrating these reprehensible actions,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We have zero tolerance for these acts of bigotry, which stand in direct contrast to the values that we New Yorkers represent. I applaud the MTA Police Department for their vigilance and actions in this investigation."

Earlier this week, MTA Police Department detectives, who had been conducting a surveillance operation related to a pattern of hate-crime graffiti and vandalization of men’s bathrooms at Pennsylvania Station, arrested a man for suspicion of vandalizing a bathroom stall. The suspect was identified as Pasquale Vargas, 65, of Brooklyn. Police believe Vargas is responsible for multiple instances of bias graffiti at Penn Station since February 18.

Vargas has been charged under New York State law with eight counts of Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree. Due to the nature and circumstances of the alleged offenses, they are being prosecuted as Hate Crimes (Class E Felony).

During an interview with police following his arrest, Vargas admitted to writing the graffiti. Police suspect Vargas is also responsible for graffiti in Penn Station on multiple other occasions since February, including swastikas and other statements, which were written in black marker in two different locations.

MTA Chief of Police Owen Monaghan said, “The MTA Police and our law enforcement partners across the state — including the State Police — vigorously investigate all hate crimes in order to bring those responsible to justice. No one should think they can get away with trying to intimidate the public in this way.”

As part of a surveillance plan started last month, detectives stationed in a men’s bathroom in Penn Station noticed graffiti in a bathroom stall that Vargas left. No graffiti was in the stall beforehand. Detectives stopped Vargas under suspicion of vandalization and searched his backpack, which contained a black Sharpie marker — the same type used to deface the stall.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Inadequate planning, insufficient training led to Amtrak derailment

In December 2017, Amtrak Cascades train 501 derailed on an overpass as it entered a 30-mph curve at approximately 78 mph.

Houston METRO shuts down 3 rail lines for repairs

The wires will be reinforced at 79 locations to prevent them from falling in the event of another break.

First Transit drivers receive training on how to ID human trafficking

Outlines how to identify a possible victim, look for signs and what to do if you see someone who might be a victim of human trafficking.

St. Louis Metro extends partnership with safety app, Noonlight

With the solution, any Metro passenger who feels uncomfortable or at risk can open the app and hold their thumb on the safe button.

Man arrested after holding bus driver hostage, demanding ride to Portland

The male passenger and female driver were the only people on the bus, with the driver able to hit an emergency alarm at some point.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation