Painting stupid stuff on the side of businesses you don't own is an L.A. tradition.
But when you get all swastika about it, or write that, “Adolf was right. Kill Jews!,” well, you're just asking for authorities to hunt you down. Strangely, the suspect in this case appears to be of Jewish heritage.
Prosecutors today said 49-year-old Amos Hason faces three counts of suspicion of vandalism and three counts of a suspicion of committing a hate crime. The suspect sued the LAPD in federal court last year for alleged “systematic persecution,” phone tapping and false arrest. That suit says Hason converted from Judaism to Christianity:
The plaintiff, whose date of birth matches Hason the hate-crime suspect, lost his court battle, and attempts to appeal have been thwarted.
Hason, who listed his address as being on Sherman Way in Van Nuys, also sued L.A. County government, Chief Charlie Beck, and several others, including “lady psychiatrist in men [sic] central jail,” in 2011 for alleged violations of his constitutional rights over contact with police, jailing, a search and a property impound.
That suit says the plaintiff was subjected to three weeks of psychiatric evaluation.
The 2013 suit against the LAPD, et. al., was handwritten and alleges that a vehicle impound “left plaintiff in a life stile [sic] of an animal since Feb. 22, 13 as he is forced to sleep on the street.”
That filing also claims defendants tried to kill him by once loosening the lug nuts on his vehicle.
Prosecutors say Hason was arrested over the weekend for the alleged hate crimes and for suspected weapons violations. They claim that Hason twice targeted a Jewish business owner in the San Fernando Valley last month, painting swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti on the victim's property.
According to a City Attorney's statement:
… Video surveillance allegedly identified Hason driving to the location and painting swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti on the rear fence and dumpster behind a Van Nuys plumbing business.
The office says Hason was convicted last year for possession of a zip gun and that in 2008 he “was found guilty of possessing a deadly weapon with the intent to assault another.”
A spokesman for the City Attorney wasn't aware that Hason had previously tried to sue the city.
Hason was jailed in lieu of $68,000 bail and could face three years behind bars if he's successfully convicted, prosecutors said.
[Added at 2:58 p.m.]: City Attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan says the 2011 federal lawsuit was indeed filed by the suspect. The matter is still pending, he said.
-With reporting from L.A. Weekly staff writer Gene Maddaus.