Lafayette man arrested for hate crimes in hookah bar vandalism

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A Lafayette man is facing a hate crime charge after police say he reportedly vandalized a local hookah bar with a racial slur.

James Verrett, 23, of Lafayette, was charged with hate crimes and simple criminal damage to property after detectives located him at a local residence.

Verrett allegedly spray-painted the racial slur against Arabs and middle-easterners across the front windows of the Lux Hookah Lounge on Johnston St. on Jan. 13. A security camera near the bar was also spray-painted to obscure footage.

“There are a lot of Arabs in this neighborhood, and I feel this is against all of them,” the owner told News 10 after reporting the vandalism.

State law (RS 14:107.2) calls for a sentence of not more than $500 and/or not more than six months in jail for a misdemeanor hate crime.

No bond has been set at this time.

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