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Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Possible hate crime, vandalism hit Oldham County (USA)

Racial slurs spray-painted on a Crestwood home were just the tipping point of what appears to be a rash of separate, unrelated bouts with vandalism in Oldham County.

Maria Mitchell says she and her husband were out of town Saturday when her son called her to say that someone had spray-painted a racial slur and the letters "KKK" on her garage.

Mitchell says her family has never experienced a racial incident in the nine years they've lived at their home along Hwy 22.

"I am kind of angry. But it's not an anger thing because I am a Christian. I am trying to look past it," Mitchell said in an interview Monday. "It's unfair to spray-paint our garage like this."

Mitchell says she is not scared to stay in her home, but says since the incident she's retained an attorney.

In a separate incident a mile away, caution tape lines the sand volleyball court at Briar Hill Park.

Tim Curtis, Director of Oldham Co. Parks and Recreation, says someone has intentionally buried broken glass in the sand on more than one occasion.

"Your standard vandalism in parks you are used to spray paint but this seems more like a malicious effort to hurt people."

The first complaints came to park officials in August from volleyball players who often use the courts on the weekends. Then last week, more complaints surfaced.

Curtis said the broken glass was placed in distinctive holes, which were then covered over with sand.

"Almost so you couldn't see it," he said, "You wouldn't know it til you hit it."

Park officials sifted through the sand again on Monday and discovered even more glass. Curtis says if more incidents occur, the county may have to close the courts for good.

Briar Hill Park is no stranger to vandalism. Three years ago, an arson fire destroyed the park pavilion. The Oldham Era newspaper reports that two men were indicted last week for that crime.

Fox 41