You are reading

Astoria man who went on anti-gay graffiti spree arrested by police

June 5, 2017 By Christian Murray

The police have arrested a man responsible for a rash of homophobic graffiti that has been scrawled on several buildings throughout Astoria this year.

Yaacov Shemesh, a 53-year-old Astoria resident, was arrested Thursday night for scrawling 22 hate-filled messages throughout the neighborhood, police said.

Shemesh first struck on March 20, according to police, when he sprayed “Obama f—-t” on the outside of Pistilli Towers at 31-19 Newtown Ave., the building that houses the offices of State Sen. Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas. He spray-painted this location multiple times, according to police.

He also, according to police, vandalized a number of garage doors on 23rd Street (between 28th and 29th Avenues) scrawling in black paint: “Obama Faggot” and “Obama Dyke.” He targeted this location several times.

Police captured video of Shemesh on two occasions while scrawling his homophobic graffiti. One of those videos was released last week where he was seen spray-painting doors with black paint.

 “The man pictured is now apprehended,” Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune, the commanding officer of the 114th Precinct, wrote on Twitter, next to a wanted poster of the suspect. “Great job by POs Kenefick & Lichte, keep up your hard work & dedication to make #Astoria safe.”

Police said the officers recognized Shemesh from a poster.

Gianaris thanked the police for their work on the case and wrote on twitter, “There is no amount of bigotry or xenophobia that can tear our diverse neighborhood apart.”

Councilman Costa Constantinides also thanks the NYPD.

Shemesh has been charged with 22 counts of aggravated harassment, 22 counts of criminal mischief, 22 counts of criminal mischief with the intent to damage property and 22 incidents of making graffiti.

email the author: [email protected]

10 Comments

Click for Comments 
Chacki soliloquy

Come on guys he just had a nervous breakdown he didn’t harm no body it can happen to people sometimes in theirs life not justifing the actions by no mean absolutely wrong but there’s a drug dealers and rapists on the streets of New York worse then him give him a break…,

Reply
Poparoo 46

Yaacov sheesh? What is that maaaaaan? Come on your 53 yr old Man, maaaaaaaaaaaaan! Your name is funnnny maaaaaaan.

Reply
jenastoria

Great job by the 114th precinct! I now hope that some of the remaining graffiti will be removed, preferably at the expense of the perpetrator.

Reply
Jim M

Want to stop all this vandalism? Put a price on it and have him financially compensate all those affected by his acts. And if the vandals are minors, then pass the bill on to those responsible for them.

Reply
Jon

After going to court he most likely will be billed for the damages. But if he doesn’t have any money nothing will be collected .

This won’t stop all this vandalism because most people committing crimes don’t have ” getting caught ” as a possible option in their head .

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Op-ed: An urgent call for revising NY’s criminal justice reforms to protect public safety

Apr. 11, 2024 By Council Member Robert Holden

In 2019, the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo embarked on a controversial overhaul of New York’s criminal justice system by enacting several laws, including cashless bail and sweeping changes to discovery laws. Simultaneously, the New York City Council passed laws that compounded these challenges, notably the elimination of punitive segregation in city jails and qualified immunity for police officers. These actions have collectively undermined public safety and constrained law enforcement effectiveness.

Astoria welcomes ‘Our House’: A new co-working and community space

Apr. 11, 2024 By Allison Kridle

If you were to ask a Queens resident what’s one thing they want more of, they will likely reply: Space. For Astorians, many crave a place to gather, work, create, and meet neighbors or somewhere that feels like home where they can be productive all in one. Astoria business owners Anna Budinger, Alexandra Wolkoff and Kayli Kunkel saw this void and created Our House, “Astoria’s living room.”