Rep. Lee Zeldin addresses a crowd of supporters at the Coral...

Rep. Lee Zeldin addresses a crowd of supporters at the Coral House in Baldwin on Tuesday. Credit: Morgan Campbell

  

A Huntington man was arrested and charged with a hate crime after police said he defaced a campaign sign for Rep. Lee Zeldin, who Tuesday night won the Republican primary in the New York governor's race.

Suffolk County police said the spray-painted graffiti included a Swastika, the word "Gambino" and the number "187" — which is a police-code reference to murder.

The sign, located at the corner of West Pulaski Road and Oakwood Road in Huntington Station, was found defaced just after 10 a.m. Sunday, police said.

Following an investigation, police arrested Vincent J. McKie, 41, outside his home on Oakwood Road at 12:25 p.m. Tuesday. He was charged with first-degree aggravated harassment, a hate crime and a felony, as well as fourth-degree criminal mischief. He faces arraignment at a later date, police said.

It was not immediately clear if McKie is represented by counsel.

"I thank Suffolk County Police Department — especially their top-notch Hate Crimes Unit — for making a swift arrest in this case," Zeldin (R-Shirley) said in an email Wednesday morning. "Unfortunately, for so many New Yorkers — Asian-Americans, Sikh-Americans, Jewish Americans and many others — raw hate has become all too commonplace. We must continue to work together to crush this hate wherever it rears its ugly head."

Zeldin will take on Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul on Nov. 8 after she easily won her party’s nomination Tuesday.

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