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Purchase College Police Charge Student In Swastika Case

Raymond Turchioe was charged with  first-degree aggravated harassment on Thursday.
Raymond Turchioe was charged with first-degree aggravated harassment on Thursday. Photo Credit: Purchase College Police

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- A Purchase College student was arrested Thursday night on charges he drew multiple swastikas on walls and a door in a residence hall, according to New York State University Police.

Raymond Turchioe, 18, of W. 181st St. in New York City, was arrested and charged with first-degree aggravated harassment, a felony, according to LoHud.com. Turchioe was arraigned in Harrison Town Court and sent to Westchester County Jail on $15,000 bail or $25,000 bond. He is to appear in town court again on Tuesday.

The police complaint states that Turchioe drew swastikas in Farside Dormitory about 3 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17, according to LoHud.

Early media reports said drawings of nooses also were found Saturday, March 21, on four walls in three undergraduate dormitories. Turchioe was not charged in those incidents, but has been suspended from the college.

The Westchester County District Attorney's Office's Bias Crime Unit is assisting SUNY Purchase police in the investigation.

Police asked anyone with information to share anonymously to call 914-251-6868 or use a silent witness link for online tips here:

Meanwhile, Valerie Moore O’Keeffe, chair of the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center issued a statement that said: "We are pleased and grateful that an arrest has been made in the swastika-smearing incident. We look forward to the completion of the police investigation and apprehension of those involved in this anti-Semitic incident as well as the racist noose drawings which appeared subsequently in other residence halls."

"We commend SUNY Purchase and its President Thomas Schwarz for their swift condemnation of this hateful act. In the context of recent hate and bias crimes against women and African-Americans on campuses across the U.S., the SUNY Purchase response is appropriate, timely and commendable,'' O'Keeffe said.

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