Suspect arrested in connection with anti-Semitic, Nazi graffiti in Barrie, Ont.

A 50-year-old man has been arrested and charged after painting anti-Semitic and Nazi messages and symbols on windows, properties and a local playground in Barrie, Ont., late Sunday night into Monday, a police spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

The Barrie Police Service received a report regarding the incident at 12:26 a.m. Monday and apprehended the suspect three minutes later at 12:29 a.m.

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Barrie Police spokesperson Peter Leon said the suspect was in the area of Dunlop Street and attended a number of locations around there, where he painted anti-Semitic and Nazi messages.

According to Leon, officers believe the suspect started painting the messages at about 11:20 p.m. Sunday.

“He did attend Berczy Park and did the same to an outdoor playground set,” Leon said. “When he was arrested, had a backpack that contained paint and brushes, and he was just going about painting on storefronts and things like that.”

The suspect was charged with nine counts of mischief under $5,000, Leon said, adding the Barrie Police Service’s intelligence unit is looking to determine whether the incident falls under the parameters of a hate crime.

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“Our investigation remains ongoing,” Leon said. “There could be additional charges.”

According to Leon, the 50-year-old Barrie man was held for a bail hearing Monday. He was subsequently remanded into custody to appear by video again Tuesday.

“At the end of the day, something like this is very disturbing,” Leon said.

On Tuesday, Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman and Ward 2 councillor Keenan Aylwin condemned the graffiti on Twitter.

“I’m glad the perpetrator has been arrested,” Lehman said on Twitter Tuesday. “A further example of why as a community we need to make a collective effort to fight hate and discrimination.”

Since the incident, a photo of the anti-Semitic and Nazi graffiti has circulated on social media.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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