A Nassau Community College student is facing charges in connection with bias graffiti discovered on campus buildings seven times in the past two months, the last on Tuesday, police said.
Jasskirat S. Saini, 20, of Central Park Road in Plainview, was arrested Tuesday and charged with 10 counts of felony aggravated harassment, police said. He is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday in First District Court in Hempstead. Each count is punishable by up to 4 years in jail.
“Hatred, bigotry and racism won’t be tolerated in Nassau County,” Nassau’s acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said at a Tuesday night news conference to announce the arrest.
“These crimes strike at the core value of the university,” he said.
After an investigation determined Saini drew two swastikas Tuesday on the exterior of H building and “KKK” on F building on the Garden City campus, police took him into custody.
“We are grateful to the Nassau County Police Department for their good police work,” NCC President W. Hubert Keen said in a statement Tuesday night.
“We are deeply saddened that the alleged perpetrator is a student, and it reminds us that a zero-tolerance policy and a rigorous program of on-campus anti-bias programs must be reaffirmed every day,” Keen said in the statement.
Explaining Saini’s motivation, Krumpter said: “He believed he was being harassed by members of the Jewish community” in his neighborhood.
In 2015, there were 62 bias incidents in Nassau County, of which 35 were in graffiti form, police said. So far this year, there have been 57 incidents, of which 40 were graffiti.
“Anytime we have bias crimes in Nassau County, it’s among top investigative priorities. We cannot and will not tolerate bias crimes,” Krumpter said.
In May, Saini was arrested on third-degree criminal sale of marijuana. That case is pending, officials said.
According to police, two other bias incidents occurred in October, first on the 28th, when two swastikas and an anti-Semitic comment were found on a men’s bathroom wall in the D cluster building, and the next day, when more blue swastikas were found on the walls and urinals in men’s bathrooms on the first and second floors of the E building.
Then on Dec. 7, three swastikas were discovered drawn in black ink on a wall and a fourth on a staircase handrail in the B cluster building.
On Dec. 9, several swastikas and the words “Germany” and “Heil Hitler” were found drawn with a black marker inside the E cluster building’s first-floor men’s bathroom.