Clifton Eutsey is a New York teen who has been accused of insurance fraud after police say he vandalized his own car and then attempted to blame it on supporters of President Donald Trump.
The 18-year-old Buffalo man told authorities last month that someone spray-painted “Trump 4 President,” as well as swastikas and homophobic slurs, on his 2004 BMW, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. Eutsey reported that his windshield had been smashed and sugar had been poured into his gas tank, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said in an online release.
Eutsey was charged on November 10 with third-degree insurance fraud, a felony and falsely reporting an incident, the district attorney continued.
“It is alleged that during the early morning hours of October 15, 2020, the defendant intentionally spray painted his SUV with racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic graffiti on Saranac Avenue in the City of Buffalo,” Flynn said.
“It is further alleged that the defendant intentionally filed a false claim with his car insurance provider.”
A neighbor reported the vandalism on October 15, according to Flynn. He added that video evidence points to Eutsey as the culprit.
Eutsey turned himself in on November 15 and was later released “on his own recognizance,” the district attorney’s office reported.
The teen is scheduled for a felony hearing on Monday, January 11, 2021. Eutsey could face up to 7 years in prison if convicted on all charges, Flynn said.
Here’s what you need to know:
Eutsey Told Local Media He Had No Idea Who Would Vandalize His Car
On October 16, Eutsey told WKBW that he had no idea who would vandalize his car.
“I never thought that happens,” he said, according to the station. “I thought that was stuff that happened in movies.”
“Nobody does graffiti anymore. It’s 2020.”
The teen added that he was shocked over the “hate crime,” claiming that he always felt safe in his neighborhood, the station continued.
“I’ve stayed in this neighborhood my whole life, I’ve always been over here,” Eutsey expressed to WKBW. “It’s a good neighborhood and everyone knows everyone.”
Frank Todaro, owner of Collision Masters and a county legislator, offered to fix the 18-year-old’s car, WKBW noted.
“Just see if we can remove the graffiti and maybe have to paint a little bit,” Todaro said, according to the outlet. “For us it’s what we do every day so we can get the vehicle in and out and on the road and they can feel better.”
Eutsey Has Pending Felony Charges in a Separate Case
According to the Erie County District Attorney’s office, Eutsey also has pending felony charges in a separate case.
Prosecutors say the teen was caught driving without a license on October 24. He had two “loaded illegal firearms” in his possession, the district attorney’s office claimed.
Eutsey was arraigned the following day on two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, which are Class C violent felonies, Flynn said in the release.
“He was also charged with vehicle and traffic law violations for driving without a license and leaving a motor vehicle unattended,” the district attorney noted.
Eutsey is slated to return to court on Monday, January 4, 2021 for a felony hearing, Flynn said.