A 65-year-old Brooklyn resident was arrested for allegedly writing hateful messages at Penn Station, including "Mexicans take jobs from Americans." In announcing the arrest, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, "This arrest sends a clear message that all hate crimes will be thoroughly investigated, and we will prosecute those found responsible for perpetrating these reprehensible actions.

"We have zero tolerance for these acts of bigotry, which stand in direct contrast to the values that we New Yorkers represent," he continued, reiterating his stance on welcoming immigrants. "I applaud the MTA Police Department for their vigilance and actions in this investigation."

According to Cuomo's office, the MTA police had been investigating a "pattern of hate-crime graffiti and vandalization of men's bathrooms at Pennsylvania Station" and had stationed detectives there. They "noticed graffiti in a bathroom stall that Vargas left. No graffiti was in the stall beforehand. Detectives stopped Vargas under suspicion of vandalization and searched his backpack, which contained a black Sharpie marker - the same type used to deface the stall."

The detectives arrested Vargas, 65, for what they believe are multiples instances of bias graffiti last month.

During an interview with police following his arrest, Vargas admitted to writing the graffiti and said that he wrote it “because Mexicans take jobs from Americans." Police suspect Vargas is also responsible for graffiti in Penn Station on multiple other occasions since February 18, including swastikas and other statements that read: "KKK" and "Mexican Go Home," among others, which were written in black marker in two different locations.

Vargas was charged with eight counts of criminal mischiefs as hate crimes, which are felonies.

"The MTA Police and our law enforcement partners across the state - including the State Police - vigorously investigate all hate crimes in order to bring those responsible to justice," MTA Chief of Police Owen Monaghan said. "No one should think they can get away with trying to intimidate the public in this way."