BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The man accused of multiple hate crimes against the New Allen Chapel AME Church in Delano has been formally charged with vandalizing a church because of race, vandalism over $400 or more and property damages to violate civil rights.

The alleged vandal, a 33-year-old Filipino man, Kyle Lewis Sison of Delano, was arrested after Delano Police received information from the community.

Sison is accused of spray-painting racist remarks, including the N-word. Words that, according to Reverend Bill Hence, the church still has not removed.

“He did more permanent damage this time so we’re taking our time this time because now for the first time the police actually have a suspect so we’re letting them take their time to do whatever investigative work they have to do,” said Hence.

Hate crimes in California increased 32.6% from 2020 to 2021 and are at their highest levels since 2001. Most of those hate crimes reported targeted black people, remaining most prevalent, increasing to 12.5% from 456 in 2020 to 513 in 2021. But in a city that bills itself as the international community, Hence is still trying to figure out why him.

“He seems to have singled out this church for whatever reason, for his torment, so that needs to be addressed, he seems to be at this stage probably more than just a nuisance, so he does need to suffer whatever consequences are out there for what he did,” said Hence.

Sison has a record of threatening with intent to terrorize, trespassing and causing injury to an elderly adult. However, in each case, he pled no contest. In this case, he stands possibly up to 6 years in prison.

His bail is set at $500,000 and he is ordered to stay 500 yards away from the church. His following court dates are Dec. 5 and Dec. 7.