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Police: Man Stole Shotgun Before Racist, Antigay Graffiti Spree

Palm Springs

A 45-year-old man could face over five years in prison after Palm Springs, Calif., police say he stole a shotgun, carried a concealed knife, and covered the city's community center in racist and anti-LGBTQ+ graffiti.

Police arrested Chari Godakanda the morning of July 7 outside a community center, where Godakanda admitted to smashing the front door and spray-painting the building's exterior. Messages included "all lives matter," "not just black, white or yellow or pink U idiots," "I am anti lgbtq uryza," and "I plead alligence to nooneor colors," according to the Desert Sun. He was formally charged Monday, and he is scheduled to appear in Riverside County Court November 4.

Godakanda allegedly had a concealed knife in his pocket; a shotgun and airsoft pistol were found near the community center's broken front door. Palm Springs police say the shotgun was stolen from a nearby business that was also defaced by graffiti. Godakanda also damaged signs and an electric vehicle charging station at the community center, according to officials. 

Godakanda, who later apologized for his actions, was hit with two charges of vandalism, one of grand theft, and another of concealing a knife. If convicted, Godakanda could be sentenced to five years and four months in prison.

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