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Hate Crime Charges Filed Against Man After Swastikas Painted on Synagogue, Near School

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Hate crime charges have been filed against a man accused of spray-painting yellow swastikas on a synagogue and on the grounds of a Jewish high school in Rogers Park last weekend.

Shahid Hussain, 39, from Niles, faces four counts of a hate crime as well as charges of criminal damage and defacement. He was due in bond court Tuesday afternoon.

The swastikas were discovered Sunday on a wall of the F.R.E.E. Synagogue at 2935 W. Devon Ave. and on a shipping container used by the Hanna Sacks Bais Yaakov High School at 3021 W. Devon Ave., according to police.

A day earlier, someone shattered a glass door and cracked another at a synagogue several blocks away, in the 2800 block of West North Shore, police said. On the same day, two businesses in the 2900 block of West Devon reported their front windows broken.

Court records show Hussain has been arrested six times in Cook County and has twice been convicted of felonies.

He was most recently sentenced to 12 months probation last September after pleading guilty to a stalking charge.

Hussain also pleaded guilty in 2014 to a felony count of aggravated driving under the influence and was sentenced to 90 days in Cook County Jail and 12 months probation, though he repeatedly violated the terms of his release and the case was extended.

In 2017, he pleaded guilty to a felony count of forgery and was sentenced to two years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, records show. The same day that case ended, the sentence in his other felony case was amended and he was given the same sentence.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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