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Long IslandCrime

Hate crime charges for Wantagh man accused of threatening neighbors

Joseph Magistro was arraigned on Tuesday in First

Joseph Magistro was arraigned on Tuesday in First District Court in Hempstead. Credit: NCPD

A Wantagh man pointed a shotgun at his neighbor, using racial epithets as he told the 62-year-old grandmother, "I'll put a [expletive] bullet in you right now," according to a criminal complaint obtained by Newsday on Wednesday.

Joseph Magistro, 33, who is white, was charged with hate crimes including menacing with a weapon and race-related aggravated harassment. The criminal complaint alleges that after damaging the unnamed neighbor's home, Magistro pointed the loaded shotgun at the grandmother and her 17-year-old grandson, who are black, and using a racial epithet, stated "in sum and substance, 'You [expletive] don't belong in this neighborhood. This is a white neighborhood,' " before threatening to shoot the woman.

Magistro was arrested by Nassau County police Monday and arraigned Tuesday in First District Court in Hempstead. Judge Andrea C. Phoenix ordered him held on $30,000 bond or $15,000 cash bail. She also issued an order of protection in the case, court records show.

Records additionally show Magistro did not post bail and was remanded.

The receptionist for Guy J. Allen, the attorney who represents Magistro, said he would have no comment Wednesday.

According to the complaint, Magistro went to the neighboring home at about 3:35 p.m. Monday, throwing barbells through windows, breaking other windows with the butt of a shotgun and destroying blinds and walls inside the home, causing about $2,000 in damage.

The complaint said that when the grandmother confronted Magistro, he pointed the shotgun at her and threatened her.

The complaint said that when the woman and her grandson retreated into the house, where they called 911 to report the attack, Magistro "proceeded to trespass upon her fenced property," entering the back yard, where he then "shattered an additional window" of the home.

Police recovered the shotgun and barbells at the scene and also secured depositions from the grandson and a witness, according to the criminal complaint. Blood evidence also was recovered from a broken window, where the complaint said Magistro cut himself during the attack.

The complaint states that Magistro also signed a statement admitting to "intentionally damaging the victim's property."

Magistro is charged with second-degree criminal mischief for allegedly causing more than $1,500 in property damage, two counts of hate crime-related second-degree menacing with a weapon, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use, two counts of race-related second-degree aggravated harassment and with third-degree criminal trespass.

He is scheduled to next appear in court on Thursday, according to records.


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