A former professor at New York University has been charged after an allegedly drunken vandalism spree directed at a church in Brooklyn. Local news in Williamsburg confirmed the arrest of the 34-year-old academic, who is facing a charge of hate crime criminal mischief. Spokespeople from NYU have confirmed the man is not currently employed by the university, with no fall term assignments. It is unclear whether he has retained criminal defense counsel at this time.
According to footage retrieved by police, it appears the man, along with two others, was walking along 8th Street when the incident occurred. Footage purportedly shows the man, who witnesses claim was drunk at the time, pulling plants from the garden of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church and hurling them at the church doors. The other two men with him reportedly did not participate in this activity.
The man then is said to have shouted directly at the security cameras before dragging a large statue of St. Judge into the middle of the street. Footage reportedly shows him kicking the statue before leaving it in the road. Church officials have expressed concern that the man was attempting to make an anti-Catholic statement.
Whether or not the alleged incident actually occurred in the manner described by law enforcement, the accusation of hate crimes alone is enough to damage a professional reputation — possibly irrevocably. The former professor’s criminal defense counsel will work to confirm his innocence in this regard. They will likely choose to conduct interviews with the accused man with an eye toward ensuring the New York court receives a balanced and fair perspective of his side of the story.