February 21, 2011 in City

Police: Dispute between teen girls led to hate-crime probe

 
Colin Mulvany photo

Police are investigating a hate crime against a family living on North Cochran in Spokane, Wash. Feb. 21, 2011. Early morning Monday, their house was vandalized with foul-laced language, including disparaging remarks about Jesus and references to God hating them. A Bible had been set on fire on the porch, according to police.
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Vandalism investigated as a possible religious hate crime was the result of a dispute between two teenage girls, Spokane police say.

Detectives have identified a “potential suspect” and are continuing the investigation, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe.

Police were called to the home in the 7000 block of North Cochran about 2 a.m. today, where they found swastikas and foul language had been written on the house, two cars, two trucks and two boats. There were disparaging remarks about Jesus and references to God hating the occupants. A Bible had been set on fire on the porch, according to police.

The woman occupant, who did not want to give her name, said she was awaken by her dog barking just before 2 a.m. She thought the dog wanted to go outside but instead it was apparently reacting to the vandals. The woman said she opened the front door and found the vandalism.

She said that she gave police a description of a juvenile suspect who is acquainted with the family, and she was waiting for officers to investigate the case.

“We have a pretty good idea of who did it,” the woman said.

She said this morning’s vandalism was preceded on Saturday by an overnight incident in which eggs were thrown at the house and and toilet paper was strewn in the yard.

Two daughters living in the home are church members, she said, which may have led to references about God and church in the graffiti.

Race is not a factor in the incident, the woman said.

A bright pink latex paint was used. The family had washed some of the paint off of vehicles parked in the front driveway.

Pieces of Silly String and broken plastic forks littered the yard this morning.

Police estimated the damage in the thousands of dollars.


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