Defendant Faces Up to Four Years in Prison if Convicted

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Kristoffer Bahamonde has been charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime, harassment, and other charges for allegedly defacing several locations in Elmhurst with swastikas and other graffiti in late May 2021. District Attorney Katz said, “The defendant allegedly used symbols of hate to deface property and intimidate members of our shared community. In Queens County, we stand together against hatred directed toward any group. This defendant’s alleged actions do not reflect our values or who we are.”

Bahamonde, 41, of Elmhurst, was arraigned yesterday in Queens Criminal Court on a complaint charging him with criminal mischief in the fourth degree as a hate crime, aggravated harassment in the first degree, making graffiti, and possession of graffiti instruments. Bahamonde faces between one-and-a-third and four years in prison if convicted. The defendant is accused of using red spray paint to tag three locations with swastikas and other graffiti: A green temporary fence surrounding a construction site was defaced with two swastikas in red alongside the numbers “110.” Just down the block, another green temporary fence at a work site was tagged in red with two swastikas and the numbers “110” – also in red.

The owner of a grocery store in Elmhurst was also victimized with two swastikas and, this time, the numbers “110” was followed with the phrase “today I will never do time” painted in red on the side of the building. The defendant was caught on surveillance video carrying a can of spray paint at one of the locations and spray-painting a swastika at another.