Man arrested for writing “Go home, Uzbeks” in apartment building in Bensonhurst area

A 28-year-old man was arrested and charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime and making graffiti after writing “Go home Uzbeks” in a Bensonhurst apartment building.

According to authorities, Dmitriy Gekhman was busted on Wednesday, November 1 at around 7 p.m. at the apartment building at Bay Parkway and Cropsey Avenue where he resides after he allegedly wrote in black marker “(Expletive) Uzbeks go home” on the wall and “Go home Uzbeks” at a separate spot in the building.

A police source told this paper that the locations of the graffiti were outside the suspect’s apartment and near the elevator on the floor on which he lives. According to the source, the suspect was captured on video in the act of making the graffiti.

The incident occurred just a day after Uzbek immigrant Sayfullo Saipov, who faces federal terrorism charges, allegedly committed the largest terror attack in New York City since September 11, 2001.

Saipov allegedly used a rented Home Depot truck to strike and kill eight people and injure 12 on a bike path in the Tribeca area. The attacker claims to have been inspired by ISIS.

While stressing the need “as a city and a country, [to] remain vigilant about our safety and security,” in the face of people “who wish to cause harm to us because they oppose the values, the freedoms, and the diversity that our city and country represent,” local Councilmember Mark Treyger condemned the graffiti, expressing his fervent hope that New Yorkers remain united following the attack.

“I was disgusted and disturbed when the NYPD informed me that last night, officers responded to a report of a hateful message directed at Uzbek New Yorkers written on the walls of a Bensonhurst building,” he wrote in a statement. “The police have arrested and charged the individual responsible, but I want to remind everyone that we must not give in to fear or mistrust of our neighbors.

“We cannot judge entire groups of people based on the actions of one individual with hate in his heart,” Treyger continued. “This is a hate crime that I strongly condemn. I thank the NYPD for their swift investigation and notification, and I urge the district attorney’s office to expeditiously prosecute this as a hate crime. We must strongly reject attempts to divide our community with bias and ostracism. In troubling times, we all need to stand by one another.”

“Once more: Hate’s not a Brooklyn value,” added Borough President Eric Adams via Twitter. “We won’t let bigotry against Uzbek community, or any other, divide us.”

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