Suspect linked to racist graffiti

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SYLVANIA TWP. (13abc Action News) -- After more than one month of investigating, police have identified the suspect linked to racist graffiti spray painted onto the garage of a Lebanese American family.

In a news release, Sylvania Township Police say they are charging Osama Nazzal, 28, of Toledo, with criminal damaging in connection to the vandalism.

He is set for arraignment March 1 at 8:30AM.

The charge stems from an incident of vandalism January 10, when someone spray painted an expletive, a swastika and the word "Arabs" on the garage door of a Muslim family.

Police tell 13abc the woman who lives at the home noticed another student following her on campus at The University of Toledo.

When officers brought Nazzal in for questioning, he told them he was being intimidated by the victim, claiming she was looking at him in a library on campus and laughing at him.

In the police report, Nazzal went on to state, " ... he felt 'Paranoid and Threatened' by her snickering at him ... he looked up (the victim's) address on the internet" and confessed to detectives he was the one who spray painted her garage.

Because of the nature of his confession, officers say Nazzal will not be charged with a hate crime or ethnic intimidation.

"No, in fact, his own words in his confession is that he did not do this because of her ethnicity, because of her race, because of her religion. He did it because he was angry," explains Sylvania Township Deputy Chief Jim Rettig.

Instead, Nazzal now faces a misdemeanor charge of Criminal Damaging.

The graffiti prompted a demonstration from those upset by what appeared to be a hate crime.

Additional stories in this case can be found through the links on this page.