A Colorado man was indicted on hate crime charges after drawing swastikas and writing racial slurs in public spaces around New York City, including on the Charging Bull statue, prosecutors said Wednesday.
James Ryan, 40, of Limon, Colorado, is accused of drawing a swastika on the gates to City Hall and an anti-Black slur on a pillar Dec. 13, 2021, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said.
The following day, Ryan allegedly spray-painted a large swastika and wrote another anti-Black slur outside a CVS Pharmacy on Fulton Street in the Financial District. Hours later, he allegedly painted the same symbol on the Charging Bull statue on Wall Street.
He was arrested Dec. 16, 2021, according to a spokesperson for Bragg’s office.
“Hate has no place in New York City and these offensive and damaging actions will not be tolerated,” Bragg said in a statement. “As alleged, James Ryan put emblems of hate on a city building and one of Manhattan’s most iconic symbols, the Wall Street Charging Bull.”
Ryan was charged with three counts of criminal mischief as a hate crime, and three counts of aggravated harassment.
His attorney said they are investigating the allegations made by prosecutors and asked that “members of the public would reserve judgment and remember that Mr. Ryan is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury of his peers.”
Bragg said his office currently has 20 open hate crime cases related to antisemitic crimes.
“My Office is a safe place to report crimes regardless of your immigration status,” he said in his statement.