From the Queens Chronicle:
A dispute between a landlord and tenant in Howard Beach has turned ugly.
A property owner in Lindenwood said a former tenant who owed more than $22,000 in back rent trashed his old apartment on 83rd Street after the landlord finally kicked him out.
In addition to the property damage, disturbing images of swastikas, Ku Klux Klan symbols and various profanities were spray painted on many walls in the apartment.
“It’s disgusting,” said the landlord, Vincent, who didn’t want his last name used for fear of privacy concerns for his family. “I hope the authorities pursue this as a hate crime.”
The landlord, who is of Romanian Jewish descent, said he believes a former tenant, John Liveri, whom he has clashed with on several occasions over the past year, is responsible.
Earlier this year, Liveri called police and claimed Vincent punched him, and then had a restraining order taken out against the landlord.
Although charges against him were dropped, Vincent said he was still put through the ignominy of being arrested.
Though that issue was eventually resolved after Vincent was cleared of any wrongdoing, he continued to have issues with the tenant not paying rent.
The property owner said he finally kicked him out after not paying rent for eight months. He is not aware where his former tenant is currently living.
However, Vincent believes he wanted revenge and is responsible for the property damage at the apartment, which included a destroyed hot water heater and cracks in walls that appeared to be caused by a hammer, along with the racial images.
Police at the 106th Precinct are investigating the case as a burglary, though no arrests have been made yet. Police would not confirm whether a warrant was issued for Liveri’s arrest.