Transient On Parole Suspected In OC Hate Crime

SANTA ANA (CBS) — Police have arrested a transient on parole on suspicion of committing a hate crime in Orange County last October.

According to authorities, DNA evidence allegedly linked 45-year-old Marten Joseph Brandel to the crime in which a black hangman’s noose was left on the door of Equality California, a gay right’s organization in Santa Ana.

Brandel is on parole for assaulting a police officer, as well as drug and property crimes.

Detectives found no witnesses to the crime, but say the noose contained the evidence they needed.

“They took the noose apart and collected DNA evidence. That DNA evidence was sent to the Orange County Sheriff’s lab and returned with a hit on a parolee, Cpl. Anthony Bertagna with the Santa Ana Police Department said.

Police say Brandel made incriminating statements during questioning, but didn’t offer a motive.

Detectives are still looking for possible ties between the suspect and the gay rights group.


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