MASURY, Ohio (WKBN) – Police in one quiet Trumbull County community are investigating a rash of vandalism earlier this week that targeted several African-American families.
Authorities believe that the families are the victim of a hate crime.
“It appears all the cars belong to black families, so we take that very seriously,” Brookfield Police Chief Dan Faustino said.
One family suffered the worst of the vandalism: A racial slur etched into the paint on the side door of their car. The owner of the car did not want to be identified, but said she has lived in the area a long time without anything similar happening.
“You’ve seen and heard it happen to other people,” the woman said. “I refuse to be scared and upset. I’m going to trust God to take care of us and everybody involved.”
Another woman says she is nervous that until the person is caught, they might do something else. But is more worried about the message the vandal is sending, not only to African-Americans, but to the entire community.
“What kind of message is that sending that we are not able to live together, even in this twenty-first century?” the woman said. “It’s very concerning.”
Brookfield Police said that if the person is caught, they plan to file hate crime charges against them.
“We have the ethnic intimidation on it, so that is going to be a little steeper than just the criminal damaging to the vehicles or the vandalism,” Faustino said.
Police did manage to recover the broken top of a whiskey bottle which they believe was used to scratch the cars.
Anyone with information is asked to call Brookfield Police at 330-448-6960.