Police sources say a man who had gathered an arsenal of pipe bombs and weapons in a Brooklyn Heights brownstone apartment has admitted to painting a series of swastikas in the neighborhood last fall that marked a spike in hate crimes around the city.
Ivaylo Ivanov, 37, was arrested and charged late yesterday after police discovered firearms and bomb-making equipment along with seven pipe bombs in the attic apartment he shared with a nationally renowned AIDS researcher, Michael Clatts.
Ivanov was taken into police custody after he accidentally shot off the tip of his finger. He at first told police officers on patrol in the neighborhood that he had been shot by someone else, and then admitted shooting himself, prompting officers to check his apartment.
Police sources said he later confessed to spraying 19 swastikas on Remsen Street, where he lived, in September.
The swastikas were found on the steps of two synagogues along with leaflets, carrying swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs, found under the windshield wipers of cars along the block.
Ivanov has shared the apartment at 58 Remsen St. with Mr. Clatts, who owns the apartment, for about six years. Neighbors said the two described themselves as roommates, and that Mr. Clatts was often out of town on business.
Mr. Clatts is a professor at the University of Puerto Rico and is also conducting a study on HIV in Vietnam, according to the Web site of the National Development and Research Institutes, a Chelsea-based nonprofit organization with which Mr. Clatts was also affiliated. He is also listed as an associate professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, but a spokeswoman for the university, Randee Sacks Levine, said he does not teach at the school and is not on the payroll.
"He is among a large number of individuals who are employed elsewhere in the New York metropolitan area but have a voluntary affiliation, without an office or reimbursement, because of the relevant public health research conducted by him and his employer," she said in an e-mailed statement today.
Police sources said they were searching for Mr. Clatts, who police and neighbors believe may be out of the country.