A man accused of scrawling anti-Semitic graffiti outside a Jewish-owned business in Van Nuys has been charged with multiple hate crimes by Los Angeles city prosecutors.
Amos Hason, 49, allegedly painted swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti on a fence and trash bin behind the plumbing business. Surveillance video from the site shows a man writing graffiti on two occasions, prosecutors said.
Among the scrawlings were the words: "Adolf was right. Kill Jews!" with a swastika at the end.
"If you commit an act of hate, there will be swift and decisive consequences," said City Atty. Mike Feuer in an interview. The city's top prosecutor said the six charges and the prospect of three years in prison for Hason, if convicted, reflects the seriousness of the crime.
"This case is a stark reminder that there is still hate in our society and we must strike back against it every time it emerges," he said.
Vandalism makes up the vast majority of hate crimes across the county, officials say. The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations reported last October that hate crimes had reached their second-lowest point in 23 years.
Hason was arrested May 3 by Los Angeles police on the hate-crime allegations and additional weapons violations. Detectives were able to track him down after a car was spotted in one of the security camera videos.
Prosecutors charged him with six misdemeanor counts related to vandalism and hate crimes. Hason was being held in lieu of $68,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday at the Van Nuys Courthouse.
Hason said in a previous federal lawsuit that he himself was Jewish. In the handwritten suit filed last year, he alleges that police arrested him in May 2009 for making criminal threats with enhancement of a hate crime "toward his own race, Jews." The suit accuses authorities of violating his civil rights and says the LAPD seized his car and subjected him to surveillance. The suit was unsuccessful.
Court records show Hason has an arrest record dating back a decade. L.A. city prosecutors say he was convicted in 2013 of possessing a zip gun and in 2008 of possessing a deadly weapon with the intent to assault another. In 2004, he was convicted of drug possession.