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Man charged in Richmond Hill graffiti spree: DA

By Madina Toure

A Queens man has been charged with making graffiti nearly 20 times in the Richmond Hill neighborhood.

The man, identified as Mohamed Rasul, 24, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and making graffiti 18 different times throughout Richmond Hill, mostly on Liberty Avenue, from Nov. 16 through Feb. 6, according to a spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

In one incident, Rasul’s girlfriend allegedly saw the word “Sonik” spraypainted in blue spray paint on the door of a private garage on 111-51 116th St. as well as on the brick wall adjoining the garage between Nov. 16 at 3:10 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 2 p.m., according to the criminal complaint filed by the DA.

In another incident, a woman allegedly made a similar discovery on a wall of a commercial business on 125-01 Liberty Ave. between Nov. 17 at 12:01 a.m. and Feb. 6 at 2:40 p.m., according to another criminal complaint.

Rasul allegedly confessed to the crime, according to the criminal complaints, saying he was drunk and mad at his girlfriend when he did the graffiti.

But his lawyer, Eugene Sarchiapone, a senior attorney at Legal Aid Society, said Rasul pleaded not guilty and there was nothing in his background to indicate he would be capable of the graffiti incidents.

“We’re not saying he did it,” Sarchiapone said. “He pled not guilty. If the charges turn out to be true, it would be an aberration because he’s 24. He’s never been charged with this kind of offenses before.”

The Queens DA adjourned the case to April 7 because the office did not have the 18 affidavits they needed from property owners to proceed with the charges, Sarchiapone said. Rasul was at the Kew Gardens Criminal Court Wednesday and made bail.

In December, Rasul was arrested for allegedly slashing the front tire of the vehicle of his mother, Mala Rasul, with a knife, according to another criminal complaint. He is getting an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal that is slated to go into effect July 6, according to a Queens DA spokeswoman.

In 2009, he was charged with rape and forcible touching, another complaint said. He pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct and was sentenced to six months to one year in jail, the Queens DA spokeswoman said.

— Madina Toure

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