Police are investigating a possible hate crime after racial slurs were found spray-painted on an interracial couple’s northeast Ohio home after an explosion early Wednesday morning, according to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.
Around 1 a.m., neighbors reported an explosion at the home.
The homeowner, Angela Frase, told 19 News a swastika and the “n” word was spray-painted on a detached garage and vehicles nearby.
“Total disbelief,” said Frase, who was not home at the time of the explosion. “We’ve been here 23 years and never had a problem. I don’t know where this is coming from. Why? Why someone would target us?”
Frase, who is black, and her husband, who is white, have been staying elsewhere after an electrical fire broke out at their home in early July. The natural gas and electricity had been turned off prior to the explosion.
Wayne County House Explosion: This is the message the homeowner has for whoever did this. pic.twitter.com/y29pXC1czJ
— Meg Shaw (@MegDShaw) August 7, 2019
“It’s a blessing me and my husband…were not here,” she said. “Last night I got up here, I threw up twice. I woke up this morning thinking maybe this is a dream. It’s gone, everything we own is gone. I know it can be replaced, but sentimental things, personal things you can’t get back — it’s gone.”
“Disbelief that there’s still this much hatred in America,” Frase said. “We’ve been here 23 years, and we’ve never had a problem and now this. We decided whatever happens, we’re not rebuilding here. We’re not coming back, we’re done.”
The cause of the explosion remains under investigation, but Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson said they “are not going to tolerate that behavior here”.