An incident in which racist slurs were painted on a car near the Kansas State University campus last week was a hoax, and the man who painted the slurs has apologized.
Riley County Police reported Monday afternoon that the owner of the car, Dauntarius Williams, 21, of Manhattan, admitted to investigators he was responsible for the graffiti.
Law enforcement officials, however, decided not to file charges against Williams.
Police said that after learning that Williams had defaced his own vehicle, Riley County Police Director Brad Schoen and the Riley County Attorney Barry Wilkerson held a series of conversations.
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The two law enforcement agencies concluded that despite having filed a false report, criminal charges against Williams would not be in the best interests of the citizens of Manhattan.
In a news release, police said Williams expressed genuine remorse “and expressed sincere regret that his actions had resulted in the negative media attention that resulted.”
“I would like to deeply apologize to the community,” Williams said in a statement released by police.
“The whole situation got out of hand when it shouldn’t have even started. 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,” he said.
Williams had called The Star after the incident and said he was a K-State student and was leaving the university. K-State said it had no record of Williams being a student.
Last Wednesday Riley County Police Department were called to an apartment parking lot on Claflin Road and found a car that had been defaced with racial slurs and threats.
The N-word was written with yellow paint across the rear windshield of the car. Other racially offensive language — “White’s Only,” “Die,” and “Date your own kind,” was also painted on the windshield and side doors of the car.
Reports of the incident led African American students on the campus to call a meeting that evening to talk about possible racism near the K-State campus.
Andrew Hammond, a journalism student at K-State and one of the first to tweet out photos of Williams’ car, told The Star Monday evening he was “outraged and hurt” to learn about the fraud.
He said Williams contacted him after seeing his tweets about the car graffiti, and the two talked about the incident.
“As a black student who has witnessed racist incidents first-hand around Manhattan this hurts the credibility of students who actually want to step out and say something about it,” Hammond said. “I’m not sure what type of human being does this kind of thing as a prank.”
Police Director Schoen said, “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.”
The Riley County Police Department thanked the FBI for its help in the case.