Marten Joseph Brandel, Accused Hanger of Noose at Gay-Rights Office and Ugly Police Mugshot Legend

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This week was an especially fruitful one for ugly police mugshots. There are the skinhead San Clemente home invaders. As previously noted, a suspected student loan bilker is certainly no looker. And by shear weight alone, a 300-pound rape suspect had it locked.

But then we took a gander at the mugshot of Marten Joseph Brandel at right.

Ladies and germs, we not only have this week's winner but a first-ballot candidate for the Ugly Police Mugshot Hall of Fame.

First, though, let us get this out of the way: Whoa! Marten! Dude? Woo-hoo, look over here!

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The noose hung at EQCA
The 45-year-old is the homeless man suspected of hanging the noose that was discovered in the doorway of the Santa Ana office of Equality California the night of Oct. 29, 2010. You may recall our coverage:


Brandel was linked to the noose through DNA evidence, but Santa Ana police officers had a hard time locating their suspect because he is a transient.

He's also on parole for narcotics violations and assaulting a police officer. After showing up to a scheduled appointment at a parole office in Irvine on June 17, Brandel was arrested on suspicion of a hate crime and for hanging a noose on private property for the purpose of terrorizing the owner or occupants. He is being held without bail because of the parole infractions.

Santa Ana police claim Brandel admitted to hanging the noose, but he would not say what he has against Equality California, whose spokesperson Vaishalee Raja released this statement:

We thank the Santa Ana Police Department for making an arrest in this case. It sends a powerful message that crimes motivated by bigotry against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community will not go unpunished. Equality California will continue its work to open hearts and minds so that LGBT Californians one day enjoy freedom from the prejudice and hatred that can lead to violence.

The Ugly Police Mugshot of the Week nominees Brandel beat out follow after the break . . .

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