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Family target of racial graffiti

May 1, 2009 3:13:06 PM PDT
An act of vandalism targeting a Chester County family appears to be an attempt to destroy more than property: It looks like a case of racial intimidation.Around midnight on Tuesday, Roseann Burress woke up to her five small dogs barking at something outdoors. When she turned on the exterior lights, she found her 16 year old son's car spray-painted with a racial slur.

He is bi-racial.

"He's 16 and he said to me, 'It can only have power if you give it power.,'" Burress said. "It's not the word. It's the fact that someone would come into our home and do that to my car."

The vandals didn't stop there. Burress is married to an Indian man, and his van had the numbers 9-1-1 on it and her car was spray painted with the word "pig."

Police say they found no paint cans or any other evidence at the scene.

"It is clear it's someone who knows the family based on how they targeted the cars," said Det. Scott Pezick of the West Whiteland Police.

Neighbors say Brandywine Road is a small rural street where all the neighbors know each other and get along.

"As far as I know, I know quite a few people on the road, there is no one I know that would do such a thing," said neighbor Patricia Martin. "This is a safe road."

"We've never see anything like that here because this is a quiet neighborhood," said neighbor Maria Velez.

Burress is having a hard time understanding why her family was targeted. Burress's home recently went into foreclosure and wonders if this was an intimidation tactic to try to get her to sell it.

"I'm not going to sell the house and I don't feel like I should be intimidated, it's not right," Burress said. "I would hope it wouldn't escalate but more than anything I worry about my son being hurt."

When they're caught, the person or persons responsible will be charged with criminal mischief and ethnic intimidation.

If you have any information, you are asked to call West Whiteland Police at 610-692-5100

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