A serial vandal has been spray painting racist messages like "KKK", "impeach Obama stupid n-word" and "dumb n-word black lives matter for target practice" on homes and cars in the Ciega Village neighborhood, according to Pinellas Park Police.
"It’s all about hate," said Jamal Clark. "Some scary messages are being sent."
The latest incident happened on Monday night to Clark's neighbor, Wayne Scott, 51, a wounded veteran who's out of town visiting his mother in Virginia. Clark said he was asked to watch Scott's home and woke up Tuesday morning to find the message "dumb n-word black lives matter for target practice" spray painted across a wall.
Clark said back in May, the vandal spray painted "KKK" on his car. A month later, a black line was spray painted across his wife's car. Both Clark and Scott are black and don't believe the vandalism is a coincidence.
"We’re the only two mixed families that are on this block," Clark said. "So, someone’s doing it on purpose."
Clark said he wanted the racist message on his neighbor's home to stay up for a few days.
“I think the message should stand. I think it should stay there for a little while so that the community knows what’s going on," he said. "So, it’s not just isolated to the few people... that are being targeted."
Bay News 9 reached Scott over the phone and the veteran said at first he did not want the racist message painted over by the city.
"I want to prove to them that you can do this but this ain’t going to make me move," Scott said. "It doesn’t scare me."
Scott said he changed his mind after talking to Pinellas Park Police who told him that leaving the message up could add fuel to the fire and help spread the vandals racist narrative.
"Number one, we don’t want copy cats," said Sgt. Mike Lynch. "Secondly, we wouldn’t want somebody else to become upset by what they’re seeing. We do have children and families that live in that neighborhood."
The city sent a work crew to Scott's home that quickly painted over the message by Tuesday afternoon.
"I greatly appreciate what they did," Scott said. "I’m pretty sure they don’t want me coming home to something like that."
Neighbor Kristen Gericke said she's appalled by the racist graffiti and is also thankful the city cleaned it up.
"I’m glad it’s been fixed because right here is a bus stop with 20 kids and I don’t want my kids seeing those words," she said. "I personally feel like it’s somebody that lives in our neighborhood that knows where everybody lives."
Lynch said black homeowners aren't the only ones being targeted by the serial vandal. Last week, a 60-year-old white homeowner found "impeach Obama stupid n-word" spray painted on his SUV door.
“So far, we’ve been able to identify a total of seven different incidents in that particular neighborhood," said Lynch. "They range from things like "clean up your yard" to the racial epithets."
Clark said he hopes the community comes together to put a stop to the racist vandal.
"I feel like it should be everyone’s problem. We all live here together. We’re all neighbors," he said. "We’re not going anywhere. This is our neighborhood."
Lynch said they don't have any suspects and he's asking anyone with information about the serial vandal to call the Pinellas Park Police Department.