Teen Charged With Arson, Racist Graffiti at Black Family's Home | NBC 7 San Diego
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Teen Charged With Arson, Racist Graffiti at Black Family's Home

The teen allegedly set fire to a detached garage next to a home where the couple and their five young kids were sleeping

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    Police have called the act a "hate crime."

    (Published Wednesday, May 17, 2017)

    A 15-year-old upstate New York boy has been charged with torching a black family's garage and spray-painting racist graffiti on their house in a suspected hate crime, officials say. 

    Police in the Rensselaer County town of Schodack say the 10 felony charges against the teen include arson and reckless endangerment. 

    "His age prevents us from using what's called a hate crime designation in these crimes. However, because of the circumstances, we consider this to be a hate crime," said Chief Joseph Belardo, spokesman for the Schodack Police Department, according to NBC affiliate WYNT.

    Officials say the teen set fire to a detached garage late Sunday night. The flames damaged the adjacent home where a couple and their five young children were sleeping. No one was injured. 

    The homeowners say a swastika and "N-----" were written on their house with spray paint. 

    Police say the teen's name isn't being released because of his age. 

    Officials say residents in the rural community just south of Albany helped police track down the youth.