ECU students accused of spray painting swastika at apartment

090314 Ethnic Intimidation

GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY - Two ECU students are charged for allegedly spray painting a large swastika on the door of an apartment unit.

The Greenville Police Department have identified the suspects as 21-year-old Timothy Scott Gill Jr. and 20-year-old Brandon Daniel Friedhoff.

Investigators said they went to "The Landing" student apartment complex at 1908 Exchange Dr. at about 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 1 in response to a report of vandalism.

When officers arrived, they discovered a large white swastika that had been spray painted on the exterior door of an apartment unit in Building 7, said police.

The victims told investigators they were in their apartment all night, and a passerby told them of the vandalism.

Police said they later identified Hill and Friedhoff as the suspects. Both are ECU students and acquaintances of the victims, according to investigators.

Officers said they suspect Hill and Friedhoff targeted the residence because of at least one of the victims' religious beliefs.

Gill and Friedhoff are both charged with ethnic intimidation, injury to real property, and first-degree trespass. Gill received a $1,500 secured bond while Friedhoff received a $1,000 secured bond. They were booked in the Pitt County Detention Center late Wednesday morning, police said.

In a statement, ECU officials say "their goal is to provide a respectful, inclusive environment for learning-- one that is free from fear-- is a core value for ECU." Campus officials say they disapprove of the actions that took place and are working with law enforcement to get to the bottom of the issue.

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