The Ithaca Police Department announced on Thursday that it had arrested a suspect on multiple counts of fourth degree criminal mischief as a hate crime related to a recent spree of anti-Semitic and racist vandalism.
In the past two weeks, multiple local businesses and homes had reported being plastered with hateful messages, including spray-painted symbols associated with white supremacy, and homophobic and anti-Semitic posters. On campus, a dumpster outside the residence of five Black Cornellians was also targeted with white supremacist symbols, while one of their cars was smeared with feces.
IPD initially identified the suspect on Tuesday before executing a search residence of their residence — which revealed several concerning possessions, including fusewires and powdered chemicals police identified as potentially related to explosives. The IPD also found additional hate posters, which were one of the forms of vandalism found around town. At a different location, officers found rifle parts allegedly belonging to the suspect.
Police have not yet revealed identifying information about the suspect. So far, IPD has identified only one suspect.
The suspect is currently “not out in the community,” but charges have yet to be officially filed. The department said it will release further details as soon as possible.
Cornell University Police Chief Dave Honan wrote in an email to The Sun that CUPD has been “working to connect impacted members of the Cornell community with the resources on campus.” The department also plans to add extra staffing this weekend and on election night.
Honan said that the department thoroughly investigates all crimes reported to them, and added that the best way to report non-criminal incidents of bias and discrimination is through Cornell’s bias reporting page.