Chicago-area man charged with spray-painting swastikas

July 14, 2022 GMT

ELMHUST, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago man has been charged with spray-painting swastikas on several homes and motor vehicles, authorities said Wednesday.

Joel Jexie, 25, of Elmhurst has been charged with three counts of hate crime and one count of criminal damage to property, DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Elmhurst Interim Police Chief Michael McLean said.

A judge set his bond Wednesday at $100,000 with 10% to apply.

Elmhurst police received a call Saturday regarding vandalism and officers observed swastikas painted on two garage doors of a home and on a car., Berlin and McLean said. Elmhurst police officers received another call Tuesday regarding a swastika that was spray-painted on an SUV.

Investigators identified Jexie as a suspect in both cases as well as an April incident in which a swastika was spray-painted on a home, Berlin and McLean said. Jexie was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon without incident, they said.

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“The allegations against Mr. Jexie are very disturbing and have been charged accordingly,” Berlin said. “Hate crimes have no place in a civilized society.”

“Residents that provided home security video and promptly called 911 when they observed suspicious activity were crucial to solving these offensive crimes,” McLean said.

It wasn’t clear whether Jexie has an attorney who might comment on his behalf.