East Hampton Village police yesterday announced the arrest of a man alleged to have defaced public property with anti-Barack Obama graffiti over the last four months. Recently, the graffiti became overtly racial in nature. Lawrence G. Nickel, 63, of East Hampton was charged with one felony count of criminal mischief, 12 misdemeanor counts of making graffiti, and one misdemeanor count of petty larceny.
“We had the assistance of local businesses,” Chief Gerard Larsen said yesterday, adding that several of them had supplied images of the suspect taken by surveillance cameras. “One of our officers spotted him going down the street and engaged him in conversation.”
After the officer got Mr. Nickel’s identification, the matter was turned over to the detective squad, one of whom made the arrest. Mr. Nickel was released on $750 station house bail and will be arraigned in East Hampton Town Justice Court on Oct. 10.