KINDERHOOK — Authorities in Columbia County are investigating a possible hate crime in Kinderhook, according to a statement from state police.

A handwritten sign was reported to police Saturday afternoon and was said to contain bias speech.

Aaron Hicks, public information officer for state police Troop K, which is investigating the incident, said he could not disclose what was written on the sign.

“I can say that it was hate language,” Hicks said. “It was a handwritten sign that depicted hate language, or bias language.”

The sign was taped to a public road sign on Route 203 between Fairway Drive and Novak Road, and has since been removed.

The sign was first reported to police around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Hicks said.

“I don’t know that there’s going to be any witnesses for this, but I hope that somebody comes forward,” Hicks said.

Police are still investigating the incident and are asking anyone with information to contact state police at 845-677-7300 and refer to case No. 9951452.

If police can determine who put the sign up, they could be charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime, Hicks said.

Kinderhook Town Supervisor Patsy Leader said authorities asked her to share information about the investigation on her social-media page.

“I cannot repeat what it (the sign) said, because that could hinder the investigation,” Leader said. “It was very racist and biased, that’s why they are very concerned about it.”

Leader is not aware of any similar incidents ever occurring in the area, she said.

Check back for more information on this developing story.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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