Queens vandal busted for hateful tags similar to those found on defaced Vietnam Veterans memorial

Workers remove the swastika and other hateful vandalism found on the Queens Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Elmhurst Park on June 2, 2021.
Photo courtesy Office of City Council Member Robert Holden

A Queens man booked for allegedly going on a hateful graffiti spree in his neighborhood last month used symbols and tags similar to vandalism found last week on the borough’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Law enforcement sources said Kristoffer Bahamonde, 41, of Justice Avenue in Elmhurst was picked up on June 3 for trashing two construction sites and a grocery store in his neighborhood between May 30-31 with swastikas and the tag number 110 in red paint. 

However, Bahamonde has not yet been charged in connection with the June 2 vandalism incident at the Queens Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Elmhurst Park, where police and local residents discovered similar red swastikas and the number 110 — along with other hateful messages targeting the veterans themselves.

The graphic vandalism found on the Queens Vietnam Veterans Memorial on June 2, 2021.Photo courtesy Office of City Council Member Robert Holden

That incident drew outrage from across the community, including Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz — who, during her tenure as borough president, was instrumental in moving the Vietnam Veterans Memorial project forward — and City Councilman Robert Holden. Both Katz and Holden condemned the attack, with the council member offering a reward for information leading to the vandal’s capture.

According to Katz, Bahamonde allegedly went on the hateful smear streak between May 30-31, hitting a green construction site fence on 54th Avenue with two swastikas and the number 110. He allegedly also did the same to another construction fence down the block on nearby 90th Street.

Katz said that Bahamonde also painted two swastikas and the number 110 onto a grocery store on Broadway near Queens Boulevard. Accompanying that vandalism, law enforcement sources said, was a boastful message: “today I will never do time.”

But members of the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force were able to track Bahamonde down through an investigation in which he was allegedly filmed on nearby security cameras tagging two of the locations. 

“The defendant allegedly used symbols of hate to deface property and intimidate members of our shared community,” Katz said in a June 6 statement. “In Queens County, we stand together against hatred directed toward any group. This defendant’s alleged actions do not reflect our values or who we are.”

Bahamonde remains in custody on $7,500 bail, according to court records. He’s due back in Queens Criminal Court on June 8.