Suspect in 'ninja attack' also accused of racially-charged vandalism and arson

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Police: Man attacked fmr. boss dressed as ninja
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Police in Delaware County say a man was arrested for attacking his former boss with a hammer - while dressed as a ninja.

DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- The man accused of brutally beating one of his former employers with a hammer - while dressed as a ninja - is now also accused of previously setting a fire and spraying racist graffiti at his former workplace.

The Chester County District Attorney's office announced the initial charges against Michael Norley Jr., 29, of Lititz, Pa. last week. Norley, they said, was a former employee of Pro Signs in Downingtown.

Investigators also revealed the former employer beaten in the August 19th attack was Norley's own uncle.

At the time, investigators said Norley waited outside the home of his uncle, attacking him with a hammer while dressed all in black. The outfit was described by investigators as that of a ninja.

On Tuesday, investigators said Norley is now accused of setting a fire and spray-painting racist graffiti at his former workplace about one month prior to the attack, on July 14th.

Investigators say the graffiti included the words "Kill Whitez" and "Kill Zimmerman," which the DA called a reference to the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman case.

Pictured: Vandalism at Pro Signs in Downingtown, Pa.
Pictured: Vandalism at Pro Signs in Downingtown, Pa.

Meanwhile, investigators say Norley set several fires in the building in and around a vintage vehicle, causing an estimated $375,000 in damage.

The DA said it is believed Norley used the graffiti in an apparent attempt to mislead investigators about the motive for the fire.

Pictured: Vandalism at Pro Signs in Downingtown, Pa.

According to the DA, Norley's employers said he had "significant animosity" toward the company from an ongoing workers compensation lawsuit.

Investigators also said Norley sent a suspicious text message to one of the owners after the fire.

In a statement, District Attorney Tom Hogan said "This defendant engaged in extraordinarily reckless behavior. He tried to burn down a building. He tried to inflame racial tensions with graffiti. This defendant was out for destruction and chaos at any cost."

Norley was previously charged with attempted homicide for the hammer attack. The new charges include arson, burglary, and related offenses.