HASTINGS, Minn. (WCCO) — Police have made an arrest in the case of hateful graffiti messages discovered a week ago.
Investigators believe the spray-painted racial slurs and other hateful messages were left on the 500 block of 18th Street West at about 2 a.m. Dec. 3. Homes, a garage and a vehicle were vandalized with the messages. Some of them couldn’t be shown on WCCO-TV and others had misspellings and didn’t make sense.
Thursday evening, officers arrested 19-year-old Alex Russel Nowlan of Hastings on probable cause of felony criminal damage to property, according to police.
In all, police say six properties were damaged and it will cost tens of thousands of dollars for people to repair and clean up. Cold temperatures also make the cleanup more difficult.
Investigators have not yet established the motive for the crime, which could be important. If it can be proven the damage was driven by hate or bias, it could result in a more serious charge than if that were not the case.