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Two suspects in custody in Binghamton swastika case

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — City officials in Binghamton say they’ve arrested two people in connection to swastikas painted on and around Binghamton High School Tuesday.

Officials announced at a 2 p.m. conference on Wednesday that 22-year-old William Ritchie and 17-year-old Andrew Carter have been arrested by police.

Police say Ritchie, who lives in Binghamton, was arrested downtown on Wednesday morning. He and Carter has been charged with first-degree aggravated harassment and second-degree criminal mischief as a hate crime, both felonies.

The suspects are being held by police as he awaits arraignment in Binghamton City Court.

Police have released no information on the second person in custody.

Detectives say there is no apparent political motive or connection to any hate group, stating it appears to be “an incident of intentional acts of vandalism committed by individuals with no specific target within the community.”

In a press conference Wednesday, Binghamton Mayor Rich David commended the Binghamton Police Department for their fast work and said he hopes their quick response will send a message to vandals.

“If you go down this disgusting, despicable road. You are going to be caught very quickly. You are going to be prosecuted and it’s very important that other individuals who may be thinking about this, think twice,” said David.

The investigation is ongoing.

The swastikas were painted on the pavement of Oak Street, a sidewalk on Main Street, and on a window of Binghamton High School.

Wednesday morning signs were displayed in the windows of the school facing Oak Street that read: “You are Loved at BHS”.

“That messaging that the school put up today was so critical and very important because it really was a message of, we care about you, we do love you and we do brace our diversity,” said Binghamton City School District superintendent, Tonia Thompson.

Related: Swastikas painted in Binghamton

This story will be updated as more information is made available.


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