Andrew King, a 54-year-old Schenectady resident, was arrested Monday after allegedly vandalizing his own home with two swastikas.
King, who claims to be Jewish, reported the vandalism to police on February 10. According to the Times of Israel, King said he was clearing snow from his driveway when he first saw the swastikas.
“I just wanted to put my hands around their necks,” King said of the vandals, according to a report Monday by the Daily Gazette.
“This can show people who thrive on hate, in my opinion, that love trumps hate in the long run,” King added. “I will consult with the religious community and see how long we should leave them up, Jewish, Christian and Muslim.”
King told the Gazette he has gotten flack for his support of President Donald Trump.
“People use a lot of excuses and lack civility by using Mr. Trump,” he told the outlet. “I do take jesting about Trump, and sometimes I had some hard attacks about him.”
Schenectady Police Sgt. Matthew Dearing said King pleaded not guilty to charges of falsely reporting a misdemeanor and his bail was set at $500, according to Buzzfeed news.
Rabbi Matt Cutler of the local Reform temple Congregation Gates of Heaven told the outlet he has known King for a decad but that the man has not converted to Judaism.
“This has brought a sense of shame to the community,” Cutler said. “We knew there was something peculiar about the vandalism.”
King’s motives in the incident remain unclear, though the country has seen a spike in anti-Semitic incidents since November 8, including the vandalism of two Jewish cemeteries and waves of bomb threats at Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) throughout the country.