A swastika and an expletive were spray painted on the garage of a couple’s home in Temecula, and the the owners believe they were targeted because of race.
Heather Curotto has lived in the neighborhood for five years, and her husband is a marine who was stationed overseas. The couple only returned home together a month earlier.
“It’s always been a beautiful place,” Curotto says about the area. “The neighbors are always very friendly.”
The spray painting, though, has created reservations and has her thinking that this incident was not random.
“The things that were being said makes us think that we were being targeted as an interracial couple,” Curotto says.
When she reported the incident to police, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department told her that there had been calls about three other homes, along with a middle school.
Dennis Davis, a retired police office and member of the neighborhood, says he was recently called the “N-word” by a car that was driving by the neighborhood.
It is unclear if the incident will be investigated as a hate crime, but Curotto hopes that the vandals are caught and the hate stops.