The owner of a car that was vandalized with racist threats and slurs Wednesday has admitted that he was responsible for the graffiti, the Riley County Police Department announced Monday afternoon.
According to the RCPD, Dauntarius Williams, a 21-year-old Manhattan resident, said the alleged vandalism was “just a Halloween prank that got out of hand.”
Please read: update to the case involving racist graffiti found on a vehicle in Manhattan last week. pic.twitter.com/Z23xkBHeVv
— RCPD (@RileyCountyPD) November 6, 2017
The racist slurs had ignited outrage among the Manhattan and K-State communities, and several events were held over the past week dedicated to discussing the topic of race and diversity solidarity on K-State’s campus, although the alleged vandalism had occurred off-campus.
K-State officials said the university had no record of Williams having ever been a student at K-State, despite several reports from friends of Williams saying that he was a student.
The FBI assisted the RCPD with the investigation into what had initially been called a hate crime. RCPD Director Brad Schoen and Riley County attorney Barry Wilkerson have opted not to file charges against Williams for the false report, concluding that doing so would be against the best interests of the Manhattan community, the press release said.
“I would like to deeply apologize to the community,” Williams said in the release. “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.”
It was not immediately clear why Williams made the initial police report for what he called a prank.
The RCPD encouraged the Manhattan community to “remain vigilant, engaged and concerned for the safety and wellbeing of our fellow citizens.”
“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,” Schoen said in the release.