Subject of Action News investigation charged with fabricating racist email

Nik Hatziefstathiou, known by his nickname "Nik the Hat," is charged with tampering, forgery, possession of a stolen taser. He is also accused of impersonating reporters with the ABC News and The New York Times.

The racist email in question was published in May on Hatziefstathiou's website, YC News, which stands for Young Constituents.

Delaware County District Attorney, Kat Copeland said the motive was possibly headlines or revenge against the Delaware County Probation Office.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Copeland said forensic evidence seized from his home included computers and cell phones that showed he created the alleged racist email published on YC News.

"In doing so, he exploited the real pain minorities face every single day across this nation," Copeland said.

Only Action News was there as Delaware County investigators went to arrest "Nik the Hat" at his Broomall home.

Detectives left empty-handed as he was not home.

His attorney, Chuck Peruto said Hatziefstathiou plans to turn himself in tomorrow afternoon.

Just last week, an Action News investigation raised questions about the alleged racist email and his past.

In 2015 "Nik the Hat" pleaded guilty to charges he sent over a dozen prostitutes to his neighbor while he watched next door.

Copeland said an email from his probation officer, in that case, was doctored to create the explosive email.

"He created literally blackout strips for purported redactions and placed them over parts of the supervisor's original email," she added.

After YC News published the disturbing allegations, African American lawmakers, including State Senator Anthony Williams and State Representative Margo Davidson protested on the county courthouse steps.

"They were willing to believe the very worst of our people without a shred of evidence," Copeland added.

By phone, both Williams and Davidson say they knew YC News was a questionable news source, but say they needed to be assured of a thorough investigation due to what they call rampant racism in the criminal justice system across this country.

Peruto says many people connected to YC News had access to the electronics used to allegedly fabricate the email.

"The beautiful thing about the Constitution is we don't have to prove he didn't write it, they have to prove he did," Peruto said.
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