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Taneytown man charged after racist graffiti found on Chinese restaurant

Joseph Nagy, of Taneytown, was arrested Sunday, Jan. 13, after he allegedly confessed to defacing cars and spray-painting racist graffiti on a local Chinese restaurant in November.

Nagy, 24, of the 500 block of Daisy Drive, was charged with eight counts of malicious destruction of property valued less than $1,000, malicious destruction of property scheme valued more than $1,000 and racially motivated property crime. He was released the same day on $7,500 bail and is awaiting a Tuesday bail review, according to electronic court records.

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According to the statement of charges, Nagy’s name came to the attention of investigators as they worked to investigate the incidents. On Jan. 13, an officer made contact with Nagy, who agreed to be questioned.

During the conversation, Nagy admitted to the spray-painting and the destruction of property, according to the statement.

He said he had ordered food from Fortune Star, located in the Taneytown Shopping Center, on Nov. 18 and, after being dissatisfied with the food, returned in the night and spray-painted a phrase containing an expletive and a slur against Chinese people on the wall of the restaurant, according to the statement.

He also admitted to slashing the tires of several vehicles parked on Daisy Court and Roth Avenue using a sharpened screwdriver. He also spray-painted on two cars in the area in late September, according to the statement.

There were 12 separate dates in September and November 2018 on which Nagy confessed to damaging vehicles, according to the statement.

He wrote, “I committed all of the vandalisms of the tire slashings because I felt as though all of the individuals who were involved aside from myself were smoking drugs and felt as though the police were not going to be able to help the situation. I vandalised [sic] the chinesase [sic] restaurant because I was under the impression that they tampered with my food.”

According to a news release from the Taneytown Police Department, an “extensive criminal investigation utilizing several investigative techniques to include but not limited to; directed patrol, door-to-door neighbor canvases, covert surveillance operations, and residential saturation patrols” followed the graffiti and the damage to vehicles.

“During the course of the investigation a suspected offender was identified as being responsible for all of the property crimes being investigated in this case,” according to the release.

An individual reached at the number listed for Nagy said it was the wrong number.

A court date is scheduled for March 19.

The Taneytown Police Department continues to investigate the incident. Anyone with information in this case is asked to contact Officer A. Romero at 410-751-1150 or aromero@taneytown.org.

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