Photo via Orange County Sheriff's Office
A 25-year-old man who claims he was bullied for his German heritage was arrested for allegedly spray-painting swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs on several buildings near the University of Central Florida in December.
Michael Peter Ill, of Orlando, was arrested and booked Friday night into the Orange County jail on a felony charge of criminal mischief.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office said local residents found swastikas spray-painted at University Apartments, Habaneros Mexican Grill, 4 Rivers Smokehouse and other buildings on Dec. 25, according to an arrest affidavit.
Alongside the swastikas, deputies also found the phrase "Fuck the Jews" at Habaneros; "Germany fur immer," which translates to "Germany forever," at Tires Plus; and "Unheilig Racne," which is likely a misspelling of the words "Unheilig Rache" meaning "Unholy Revenge," at 4 Rivers Smokehouse.
Deputies tracked the suspected spray-painter through surveillance footage from the targeted businesses to an apartment at the Marquee. When investigators confronted Ill with the footage, he allegedly told them that as an orphan in Connecticut, he was adopted by a couple of Russian Jewish descent who abused him because of his German heritage.
"He said he suffers from PTSD," according to the report. "He was 'mistreated his whole life.' People (Jewish) in the town didn't want him in their schools because he was an orphan 'from a poor town to a high-end right Jewish school.'"
Deputies said Ill also claimed he spray-painted swastikas and slurs around UCF to "strategically" target a Jewish man who had allegedly raped his ex-girlfriend and traveled in the area.
"Yes I had a lot of anger," Ill allegedly told investigators, according to the report. "Yes, I had a lot of hate in my heart that night. … I acted on impulse and weakness. I don't hate the Jews. That's out of my system."
Ill is currently being held at the Orange County jail on $100,000 bond.
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