A black Kansas man has admitted to tagging his own car with horrific, racist graffiti that disgusted residents and sparked racial tensions, calling the incident a “Halloween prank that got out of hand.”
The car—which was parked in an apartment complex near Kansas State University—was covered in washable yellow paint with slurs like “Go Home Nigger Boy,” “Fuck You Die Dumb Nigger” and “Date Your Own Kind” scrawled over it, the New York Post reports. The vandalism roused tensions at the university and within the community of Manhattan, Kan., where the campus is located, prompting an emergency meeting of the Black Student Union that brought out administrators, community leaders and students.
Kansas State even held a Facebook Live event the following day with worried parents. The university stepped up its patrols on campus, and the FBI opened a civil rights investigation, looking at the incident as a possible hate crime.
Now, as it turns out, the owner of the vehicle was behind the incident, which he called a prank.
On Monday the Riley County, Kan., Police Department issued a press release, saying that the owner of the car, 21-year-old Dauntarius Williams, admitted that he was responsible for vandalizing his own car (I suppose that explains the washable paint).
Despite the deception, authorities decided that charging him for filing a false report would “not be in the best interests” of the community.
Police said that Williams was “genuinely remorseful and expressed sincere regret” that his little stunt resulted in a swarm of negativity and tension.
“The whole situation got out of hand when it shouldn’t have even started,” Williams said. “It was just a Halloween prank that got out of hand. I wish I could go back to that night, but I can’t. I just want to apologize from the bottom of my heart for the pain and news I have brought you all.”
“While Williams’ mistake had a decidedly negative impact on the community, please recognize that he, like many of us when we were young, is a young man who made a mistake and is now doing his best to own up to it,” Brad Schoen, director of the Police Department, said a statement.
Kansas State University also decided that it would continue with its stepped-up patrols, acknowledging that even though the incident wasn’t real, “the emotions were.”
“Those were very real responses,” university spokesperson Jeff Morris said.
Read more at the New York Post.