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Missouri man charged with hate crimes for vandalizing Asian restaurant, church

[Source]

A 20-year-old man from Chesterfield, Missouri, has been charged with hate crimes over his alleged involvement in the vandalism of an Asian restaurant and a church last year.

Key points:

  • Frankie Rizzello is accused of spray-painting the walls of the restaurant and the church with references to a white nationalist group.

  • He has been tracked by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism (COE) since October 2023 for allegedly claiming responsibility for white supremacist vandalism incidents in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

  • He remains held on a $250,000 cash-only bond.

The details:

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  • Rizzello, along with unidentified accomplices, allegedly spray-painted the initials of the white nationalist group on a wall of PokeDoke Asian Cuisine Restaurant and its name on another wall of One Family Church between Jan. 1, 2023, and Oct. 11, 2023. The buildings are on the same block of Delmar Boulevard in University City.

  • Both facilities reportedly suffered damages amounting to at least $750 each.

  • After a months-long investigation, Rizzello was arrested on March 9 on two felony counts of property damage motivated by discrimination.

  • The COE identified Rizello in October 2023 as the person behind a Telegram channel called “NS Hooligans,” where he allegedly claimed responsibility for and celebrated various incidents of vandalism promoting white supremacy. Charging documents say he admitted to helping vandalize the restaurant and the church and stated that he “didn’t like Blacks or Jews.”

  • St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell described the hate crimes as “cowardly acts” and vowed to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

What’s next:

  • Rizzello is being held at county jail on a $250,000 cash-only bond. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison and $10,000 in fines for each charge.

 

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