A Colorado man was charged Wednesday with a 2021 hate wave in which swastikas were painted on Wall Street’s iconic Charging Bull statue and on a nearby drug store, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
James Ryan, 40, was also charged with drawing the Nazi symbol on a door across from City Hall and scribbling an anti-black slur on the same spot downtown.
“Hate has no place in New York City and these offensive and harmful actions will not be tolerated,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. “As alleged, James Ryan placed hate emblems on a city building and one of Manhattan’s most iconic symbols.”
Ryan, of Limon, Colo., was identified as a homeless man after his arrest on December 17, 2001. The indictment charged him with three felony counts of criminal conduct including a hate crime and three felony counts of aggravated harassment.
The defendant, who had a previous arrest for reckless endangerment in 2001, was caught on surveillance video wearing a poncho while defacing the internationally known bronze sculpture located on Broadway in Lower Manhattan.
The 11-foot-tall, 16-foot-long work of art debuted in December 1989 and became an instant tourist attraction, with crowds lining up daily to take photos at the busy site.
The town hall incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. on December 13, 2021, followed a day after Ryan allegedly spray-painted a swastika and a racial slur on a CVS pharmacy in the Financial District in the afternoon.
Six hours later, video captured the defendant vandalizing the Wall Street statue.
According to Bragg, the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force was involved in bringing the suspect to justice along with officers from the First Precinct. The prosecutor’s office currently has 20 open cases linked to anti-Semitic hate crimes, he added.