A 64-year-old man was arrested Wednesday and charged with several counts of criminal mischief as a hate crime for allegedly scrawling racist graffiti on the political posters of two Staten Island city council candidates, cops said.
Ralph Tedesco, 64, allegedly used a marker to write “No n—–s” on a Kelvin Richards poster and “n—-r” on a poster for Ranti Ogunleye in 2020, according to court documents. Both candidates are black.
Richards, a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society, filed a complaint with the NYPD after he found the hateful words on a sign he hung near the corner of Forest Avenue and Oakland Avenue.
“The hate has to stop,” he said after learning of the arrest. “We are all Americans, no matter what we look like, where we come from, how we worship, who we love. All of us. This man and his language of hate seeks to divide us, intimidate us, and make us weaker as a borough, as a city, as a nation, but we will not be intimidated or divided because together, we are stronger.”
He thanked the NYPD for its investigation, which relied on surveillance video.