Arrest made in swastika vandalism of interracial couple's home in Ohio
Vandals destroyed the home of an interracial couple in the Cincinnati area, scrawling racial epithets and swastikas on walls and pouring cement down pipes.
CINCINNATI — Police confirmed Wednesday night that an arrest has been made in connection with the Thanksgiving vandalism of an interracial couple’s home in the East Price Hill neighborhood.
Samuel Whitt has been charged with breaking and entering and vandalism, both felonies that will be elevated with hate crime specifications, Lt. Steve Saunders said.
Saunders said Whitt was arrested Friday and his case will be presented to a grand jury Thursday.
Interracial couple Joe and Pat Jude said they returned to their rental home after Thanksgiving to find spray-painted swastikas, the words "white power" scrawled on the walls and doors, and cement poured down the pipes.
According to the couple's GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the insurance deductible, someone climbed into the window of the upstairs floor between Thanksgiving Day and Nov. 28 and proceeded to damage the house.
"They wrecked every room," the couple wrote on the fundraising page. "Nothing was spared."
Reports of the vandalism prompted Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley to address the issue, saying racism and bigotry "are not and will not be tolerated" in Cincinnati.
"I am deeply disturbed by the act of hatred perpetrated against this family," Cranley said in a statement. "This crime is not only an attack on an innocent family, it is an attack on our values. I have been in communication with the police and I know that they are aggressively working to bring the perpetrators of this hate crime to justice."
As of Wednesday, the fundraising effort has raised $67,655 — nearly 34 times its initial $2,000 goal.
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