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Minneapolis teen charged in racist, misogynistic Arby's sign

Don't blame Arby's for this very offensive sign, according to cops and prosecutors. Blame one 'bored' teen.

Don't blame Arby's for this very offensive sign, according to cops and prosecutors. Blame one 'bored' teen. Facebook

An Arby's sign rewritten into offensive terms over the weekend has led to criminal charges for a teenager from Minneapolis.

Usindini Christopher Colling-Harper, 19, allegedly rearranged the letters on the Arby's sign in Brooklyn Center while waiting at a stop for his bus to arrive. His reasoning for combining letters from one side with letters from another to spell out an instantly insulting message: He was "bored." 

Images of the board soon went viral online, and by Saturday the photos had circulated nationally.

Colling-Harper's digital trail was not a difficult one to trace, according to WCCO, which says criminal charges had cops searching for the photo on Facebook and finding the person who'd posted it first, a woman. According to charges, she admitted the person behind the marquee was Colling-Harper, her boyfriend, who thought it was "funny."

Brooklyn Center cops say when interviewed, Colling-Harper essentially admitted he'd done the deed, and did not expect to cause harm.

That Arby's location, meanwhile, was hit with a barrage of clap-back phone calls and angry drive-thru visitors, who'd evidently blamed the store for its sign. In its initial response to the sign's rewriting on Saturday, Arby's said its sign was "compromised," but did not blame a non-Arby's outsider, instead saying, "someone put up a message that was extremely offensive."

Colling-Harper's only connection to the restaurant was apparently proximity, as he claimed to have rearranged the letters early Saturday morning in the time it took for his bus to show up, per WCCO. 

Colling-Harper, whose name does not turn up a criminal record as an adult in Minnesota, faces two misdemeanors -- public nuisance and disorderly conduct -- for his alleged crime of vandalism, plus one felony charge of criminal defamation, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and/or a $3,000 fine.