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Arrest in L.I. church Hispanic hate crime case: Suspect is Hispanic


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Arrest in L.I. church Hispanic hate crime case: Suspect is Hispanic



Mug shot of Christian Mungia Garcia who was arrested and charged with Attempted Assault 3rd Degree as a Hate Crime, Criminal Trespass as a Hate Crime, and Aggravated Harassment 1st Degree.


Suffolk County police have busted the man who left an anti-Hispanic note at the altar of a church.


And the suspect is Hispanic.


Christian Mungia Garcia, 25, was arrested Friday night after hurling a wooden log and a glass bottle at a congregant of the Iglesia Evangelica Refugio de Salvacion in Patchogue. Cops later accused Garcia of leaving the hate-filled note Wednesday at the church.


Garcia was charged with attempted assault as a hate crime, police said. He was arraigned yesterday and due back in court Thursday.


The arrest comes on the heels of a Southern Poverty Law Center report that found Latino immigrants in Suffolk County live in a “climate of fear.” Last fall, a gang of teens jumped Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero and stabbed him to death.


Still, Mayor Paul Pontieri said Garcia’s hate was fueled by an ongoing dispute with members of the church - and not by race. “If you’re in Patchogue … it seems like every incident is immediately painted as a hate crime,” Pontieri said. “All eyes are on Patchogue.”


Suffolk County police spokesman Tim Motz said the leaving of the note was not a racial hate crime. “It was a hate crime targeting religious practice,” Motz said.



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