A former police officer who went on an anti-Semitic graffiti spraying spree across Boro Park and Midwood earlier this month was indicted on 39 counts in an arraignment unveiled on Tuesday.
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced the indictment of Michael Setiawan, 36, who is being held at Bellevue Hospital’s psychiatric ward for observation. He is charged with
multiple counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief as a hate crime, criminal mischief, and making graffiti.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Daniel K. Chun, via video conference to Bellevue, ordered Setiawan held on $75,000 bail and to return to court on Friday.
The defendant was caught on surveillance cameras on May 3 spray painting pink swastikas and language offensive to Jews on about 20 cars and buildings across Boro Park — including Bnos Zion of Bobov Elementary School. He was arrested early the next morning.
The crime shook up some members of the neighborhood, many of whom are Holocaust survivors or are descended from survivors.
Setiawan, an Indonesian immigrant who lived in Queens with his parents, was a police officer until 2007, serving in Brooklyn’s 69th precinct in the Canarsie neighborhood. His father, Thomas, told reporters that his son has had mental health issues and that he was depressed and suicidal after leaving the police force.
If convicted, Setiawan faces up to four years in prison on each of the nine hate crime charges.
“Hate crimes such as these are hurtful and must not be tolerated in a civilized society, particularly in Brooklyn, where we embrace diversity,” Thompson said in a statement accompanying the release of the indictment.