DC police arrest suspect for swastika vandalism at Union Station

D.C. police say they have arrested and charged an individual they say vandalized Union Station and surrounding buildings with swastikas and profane messages.

In a statement Saturday, the D.C. police said “34-year-old Geraldo Pando, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with Display of Certain Emblems and Defacing Private/Public Property.”

On Friday afternoon, D.C. police Chief Robert Contee said the person who did this may be experiencing some mental health struggles.

“It appears it may be one of our unhoused residents who did this, based upon some information that has been revealed,” Contee said.

Union Station Swastikas
A cleaning crew covers hand-drawn swastikas on the front of Union Station near the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (Photo AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Just after midnight Friday morning, almost every column and wall at D.C.’s Union Station had been vandalized with more than 150 swastikas and profane messages.

According to police, by late Friday afternoon the suspect had also vandalized buildings at the following locations:

  • 900 block of 5th Street, Northwest
  • 400 block of Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest
  • 400 block of L Street, Northwest

D.C. police and Amtrak Police are continuing to investigate another on Massachusetts Avenue, Northeast, as potentially being motivated in whole or in part by hate or bias, the statement said.

The symbols and messages were found the day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Anti-Defamation League said the act is alarming to see, especially after the day of remembrance.

WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report.

Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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