MANHATTAN, Kan. — A Manhattan man admitted to police that he was responsible for putting racist graffiti on his own car in a “Halloween prank that got out of hand” last week near Kansas State University, police say.
But despite filing a false report, police say Dauntarius Williams, 21, won’t face any charges.
On Nov. 1, Riley County Police Department officers responded to a call at a Manhattan apartment complex where they found Williams’ parked car had been covered with racist graffiti and a threat.
The incident fueled racial tensions at the university and in the community, and the FBI opened a civil rights investigation.
During the investigation, Williams told police he was responsible for the graffiti. But after conversation between police and the county attorney, the department said in a statement on Facebook that “filing criminal charges against Williams for having done so would not be in the best interests of the citizens who comprise the Manhattan community.”
The department said Williams was “genuinely remorseful and expressed sincere regret that his actions had resulted in the negative media attention that resulted.”
“I would like to deeply apologize to the community,” Williams said. “The whole situation got out of hand when it shouldn’t have even started. It was just a Halloween prank that got out of hand. I wish I could go back to that night but I can’t. I just want to apologize from the bottom of my heart for the pain and news I have brought you all.”
The department acknowledged the difficulties the incident created but encouraged everyone to reflect on the new development.
“While Williams’ mistake had a decidedly negative impact on the community, please recognize that he, like many of us when we were young, is a young man who made a mistake and is now doing his best to own up to it,” Riley County Police Department Director Brad Schoen said.