Man arrested in Wheaton hate-based vandalisms

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Capital Land,Emily Babay

Montgomery County police have arrested a man in a series of tire-slashings that allegedly targeted Hispanics in Wheaton over the past four years.

Steven R. Armstrong, 52, of the 11000 block of Burnley Terrace in Silver Spring, was arrested Wednesday night. Police say 21 mostly Hispanic victims had their tires slashed between March 2006 and August 2010. One man’s vehicle was allegedly vandalized 20 times.

Armstrong was observed slashing a neighbor’s tires on Aug. 23, police said. He has been charged with one count of malicious destruction of property and one count of race or religious harassment, and police say more charges are expected. Armstrong has been released on $3,500 bond.

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