First on 9: Police make 2 arrests in racist graffiti found in Jones Residence Hall

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – ECU Police tell 9 On Your Side they’ve made two arrests in the case of racist graffiti and hate speech found on a stairwell wall in Jones Residence Hall.

Officers have charged two Waxhaw, N.C. men in the incident. They’re identified as 18-year-old Jack William Ramsey and 18-year-old Anthony David Madonio. Both were charged with damage to personal property, which is a misdemeanor. Neither are current or former ECU students.

ECU Police used security camera video to identify the pair and worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine the appropriate charges. Officers from both agencies interviewed the residents of Jones Hall.

The FBI assisted in investigating whether the incident was a hate crime, but concluded that the graffiti/speech did not target a specific individual. Therefore, there was no basis for that charge, said ECU Police Chief Gerald Lewis.

Chancellor Steve Ballard said the arrests reflect the university’s resolve to confront instances of hate-filled speech or possible bias crimes against groups.

“Those are not East Carolina values and the university will not tolerate hate-filled acts that target groups or individuals and seek to intimidate them,” he said. “We will work toward a community that honors diversity as a basic value.”

Original Story:

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Police at East Carolina University say they’re investigating after racist graffiti and hate speech was found on a stairwell wall in Jones Residence Hall.

They made the discovery around 4 a.m. Sunday.

ECU Police say they’ve already identified two suspects using security camera video. The suspects are not students or employees at East Carolina and are not members of the Greenville community. Police have to make any arrests currently.

The graffiti targeted African Americans, although officers say they’ve found no evidence thus far that the messages targeted an individual person. Officers found the graffiti, which was written with a permanent marker, in the stairwell and on a wall on the second floor of the residence hall. No graffiti was found on an individual resident’s door.

ECU Police say housekeeping was alerted to the incident and immediately cleaned the area.

Chancellor Steve Ballard said the university doesn’t tolerate hate-filled acts that target groups or individuals and seek to intimidate them.

“Across our campus, we will continue to fight against hate-filled speech and bias crimes against all groups,” Ballard said. “Those are not East Carolina values. We will work toward a community of acceptance that honors diversity as a strength and value.”

If you have any information about the incident, contact the ECU Police Department at 328-6787.

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