HELL'S KITCHEN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A man was arrested in the serial vandalism of a gay bar in Hell's Kitchen on Tuesday morning.
Eyewitness News exclusively captured a man entering an unmarked police van after officers spent hours inside a Hell's Kitchen apartment building where they believe he lives.
Cops say the suspect, identified as 34-year-old Sean Kuilan, hurled a brick at the window of a gay bar in Hell's Kitchen three times in the last week.
He has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.
Police had previously released video of one of the incidents, clearly showing a man throwing a rock through the window of VERS on 9th Avenue Saturday night, hours before a gunman killed five people and wounded more than a dozen others at Club Q, an LGBTQIA+ bar in Colorado Springs.
On Tuesday morning, Eyewitness News reporter Derick Waller spoke to neighbors who recognized the man police had been looking for.
"His mother died of COVID about a year ago and I think that's when he snapped. I think his mind just snapped yeah she died suddenly," a neighbor said.
"He talks to himself, that he has very strange appearance as far as his dressing and as he just goes down the street yelling and screaming and ranting," a neighbor said.
Sources say the motive appears to have been some sort of ongoing feud with bar management and not hate.
But neighbors say given the recent uptick in hate crimes targeting the LGBTQ community, they have been living on edge.
"Hate to say it I wasn't surprised. I wasn't surprised. The climate in this country, what just happened in Colorado Springs. New York is a big city but it's a microcosm for what's going on there in the rest of the world. We're gonna get our share. Just glad it wasn't a gun," resident Bobby McGuire said.
"The sad part is we still have people who are for lack of a better word, stuck in the ages where they don't wanna accept change and stuff," resident Sandra Reyes said.
The owner of VERS bar in Hell's Kitchen over the weekend talked about why he spoke out.
"I'm worried about what the next move could be and whether they would do it to other gay bars in the neighborhood," bar owner David DeParolesa said.
When asked about this ongoing feud with his staff the bar owner said he doesn't recognize the suspect at all.
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