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Concord man faces felony over graffiti targeting immigrants

The New Hampshire graffiti case involving ethnic slurs and insults recently attracted some national media attention.

A 42-year-old tattoo artist was recently charged with suspicion of criminal mischief that could be elevated to a felony if prosecutors decide to make use of the state's hate crime statutes.

According to media reports, a Concord detective examined concealed-gun carry permits that police possessed, looking for a link to a suspect.

What they found, they said, was circumstantial evidence in a concealed-carry permit: some letters the applicant wrote on the form looked like letters in the graffiti written on the homes of immigrants.

One message left on a Rwandan family's home called the family of seven "sub-humans."

The tattoo shop owner has been charged with targeting not only that African family's home but also three others with incendiary rhetoric written on their houses with a permanent ink marker.

One family that had the messages written on their house said they felt targeted as they had been back home.

The investigation took authorities two years, according to news reports.

One detective in particular was especially driven to make an arrest. He reportedly examined thousands of documents to try to find a letter that stood out in the graffiti: a letter "B" that apparently resembled the number "6."

When he found an odd "B" in the suspect's gun permit application, investigators began to focus on the man. He had apparently posted things online about race and immigration that many would find offensive.

And so authorities compiled a case of circumstantial evidence against him and eventually made an arrest.

Obviously, an experienced criminal defense attorney will have a number of questions about that evidence and whether or not it truly points to the man arrested.

Source: Boston.com, "Racist graffiti drove Rwandan family from NH home," Nov. 3, 2013

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