TOWSON, Md. (AP/WJZ) — A police report says a black student blamed his “bottled up anger” for racist, threatening graffiti he admitted to scrawling in bathrooms on a Maryland college campus.
Baltimore County police on Monday filed hate crime charges against 21-year-old Fynn Arthur, a Brunswick, Maine, resident who was enrolled as a student at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.
Police arrested Arthur on Thursday on charges of malicious destruction of property. State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger says his office recommended the additional charges.
“There’s four additional charges related to destruction; all four are going to be related to destruction; all four are going to be related to destruction on property based on someone’s race,” said Cpl. Shawn Vinson, Baltimore County Police.
The police report says Arthur told investigators he was responsible for the bathroom graffiti of a backward swastika and a death threat that included dorm room numbers of black students, including himself.
On campus, some students are supportive of the additional hate crime charges Arthur now faces.
“What happened on campus is really not okay, it really disrupted the community life,” said freshman Maika Jarow.
The decision comes at the recommendation of the state’s attorney’s office and follows two incidents of racist graffiti on the campus in Towson.
The first was in mid-November, which authorities said included a backward swastika, a slur, and threats to African Americans.
Dorm room numbers of three black students were also listed, one of them belonging to Adam Jones.
“She said that apparently someone had come into the bathroom earlier that night and wrote a racist slur on the wall which said ‘I’m going to kill all (expletive),” Jones said.
The incident sparked a campus protest. Similar graffiti was found more than two weeks later.
College officials said that time the letters “KKK” were found as well as the last names of four black students, including Arthur’s who police say is also black.
Arthur was soon arrested and charged with destruction of property, which didn’t please college officials.
“We are disapointed that Baltimore County police have not yet charged the suspect with a hate crime,” said Bryan Coker, Goucher VP & College Dean of Students before the hate crime charges were filed.
“Like the ‘I am student,’ like the whole hashtag that we tried was good but that like, he’s actually getting charged which is a step in the right direction,” said Christine Nguyen, a freshman.
The college says Arthur has been banned from campus. Shellenberger says he doesn’t know if Arthur has an attorney.
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