Montauk Man Nabbed for Anti-Semitic Graffiti Spree
A 74-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday, December 5 for allegedly committing a recent anti-Semitic graffiti spree in his hometown of Montauk that shocked the Hamptons.
Michael Nicholoulias pleaded not guilty at East Hampton Town Justice Court to felony charges of aggravated harassment and criminal mischief as a hate crime, as well as misdemeanor counts of making graffiti and possession of a graffiti instrument.
East Hampton Town Police officers patrolling the downtown area had discovered the hateful words and symbols scrawled on Bounce Beach Montauk, an oceanfront restaurant on South Emerson Avenue on November 11, police said. That incident comes after similar graffiti was found October 30 at food trailers, a sign and utility equipment near Ditch Plains Beach as well as outside Naturally Good Foods, a health food store downtown, and Sausages Pizza, at the rear of the buildings on Main Street in Montauk, triggering a peace rally condemning the anti-Semitism spree.
Police and prosecutors said Nicholoulias was identified as the owner of a distinct PT Cruiser that connected to the incidents, and he was caught in the act of spray painting a swastika on a bench moments before he was apprehended. His attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
Both graffiti incidents come amid amid a spike in reports of anti-Semitic crimes after Hamas terrorists massacred and kidnapped Israeli civilians in a surprise attack that prompted the Israeli military to respond with a counter offensive aimed at Gaza.
Nicholoulias was released without bail under the condition that he be required to wear a GPS monitoring device. He faces up to four years in prison, if convicted.