🔴 18 businesses, houses of worship, and homes were vandalized the night of February 21 in Portsmouth

🔴 Loren Faulkner, 17, was charged in a civil complaint with twenty-two counts

🔴 He also vandalized four businesses in a similar fashion in April 2022.

A Portsmouth teen was charged in a civil complaint with twenty-two counts of violating the New Hampshire Civil Rights Act in connection with a series of spray-painted symbols of hate across the city in February and nearly a year before.

State Attorney General John Formella said Loren Faulker, 17, was responsible for swastikas and other acts of vandalism at 18 different businesses, homes, and houses of worship in the early morning hours.

Faulkner also defaced a rainbow park bench, LGBTQ+ Pride flag displayed by St. John’s Episcopal Church, Black Heritage Trail sign, and multiple signs and murals expressing support for and solidarity with communities of color and the LGBTQ+ community.

Temple Israel, Cup of Joe Café, Grim North Tattoo and Piercing, and St. John’s Episcopal Church were among the businesses vandalized that night.

"This property damage supports only one conclusion: the defendant’s conduct was motivated by animus toward, among other protected characteristics, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, and national origin, and designed to discourage those businesses, houses of worship, and residents from expressing their support for the many different communities living in, visiting, and welcome in Portsmouth," according to the complaint in the case.

No criminal charges have been filed against Faulkner. He will be in Rockingham County Superior Court in June to face the complaints.

Graffiti at Cup of Joe in Portsmouth, image of suspect
Graffiti at Cup of Joe in Portsmouth, image of suspect (Portsmouth Police)

In addition to the February vandalism, Formella said that in April 2022, Faulker damaged property at four locations and tried to steal several LGBTQ+ Pride flags. He also vandalized the St. John’s Monastic Lodge with antisemitic and homophobic graffiti.

Faulkner also made a video of himself denouncing Ukraine and its people while burning a stolen Ukranian flag. Formella said the video was sent to the entire Portsmouth High School sophomore class.

“Hateful acts that are motivated by intolerance for our fellow citizens have no place in New Hampshire and will not be tolerated,” Formella said in a statement. “The Department of Justice will continue to use every tool at our disposal, including robust enforcement of the State’s Civil Rights Act, to combat hate and ensure that New Hampshire remains a place where people of all backgrounds feel welcome and have the opportunity to live their lives free from discrimination, fear, and intimidation.”

Each violation of the Civil Rights Act allows for a maximum civil penalty of $5,000.

Area of hate graffiti in Portsmouth 2/21/22
Area of hate graffiti in Portsmouth 2/21/22 (Portsmouth Police)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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