PHOENIX – Gilbert police are investigating a possible hate crime after racist graffiti was spray painted on a wall of house belonging to a black family.
The homeowner, James Tribble, 36, said his wife called him Sunday while he was golfing to tell him she had found the graffiti containing a racial epithet.
The graffiti was painted on a block wall that runs down the side of Tribble's yard.
"So somebody came into our yard and wrote '(n-word) g,' " Tribble said. "I assume they were writing get out, but I don't know if the dogs scared them away or what."
Tribble said other minority families in the neighborhood have been targeted. About two months ago mailboxes in front of two houses occupied by minorities were vandalized, Tribble said. His was not one of them.
"This could just be kids, who knows," Tribble said.
According to Gilbert police spokesman Sgt. Mark Marino, the graffiti has been classified as a hate crime and has been forwarded to a detective that handles those types of crimes for further investigation.
"Even though it may turn out to be just kids, we're aware of what some kids, or young adults, are capable of," said Marino, regarding the seriousness of the matter.