PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police say they have located the man accused of spray painting racist graffiti on an African American-owned downtown barbershop.
Police say 60-year-old Robert Hapchuck, of Export, is responsible for the spray painting incident at VIP Styles barbershop on Nov. 30.
The racial slurs have been removed from the front doors of the VIP Styles barbershop.
Pittsburgh Police identified Hapchuck as the suspect after receiving an anonymous phone call.
According to court papers, the caller’s tip named Hapchuck as the suspect.
Officers released pictures of him after reviewing surveillance video from a nearby business. The caller told police she’d known Hapchuck for years.
Victor Musgrove owns VIP Styles. His business has been at the Smithfield Street location for 12 years.
Musgrove says he was disappointed by the vandalism, that included phrases like “We are KKK,” and words offensive toward African-Americans.
“We weren’t surprised,” said Musgrove, as he stood at his barber chair to give a customer a haircut, “but we were upset that someone would do that to our business.”
When officers interviewed Hapchuck, he told them “he was in a bad way,” and was highly intoxicated after drinking on the South Side on the day of the incident.
“Being drunk doesn’t make any excuse,” said Musgrove. “You still have to be responsible for your actions. He still has to be held responsible.”
Hapchuck faces misdemeanor charges of ethnic intimidation and a summary charge of criminal mischief. Musgrove believes the charges should be more severe.
“I feel like it’s a hate crime,” he said. “The things he wrote on the doors, it’s a hate crime.”
Musgrove added that he’s thankful for his customers who continue to support his business, and for Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and other city officials who came to the barbershop to offer their support.