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Strasburg Police investigating a hate crime after a house was vandalized

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 6:46 PM EDT
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STRASBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Police in the town of Strasburg say they are investigating a hate crime after a house was spray-painted with hateful words early Sunday morning.

“I woke up at seven in the morning to a knock on the door and a gentleman was telling me that somebody had spray-painted the house,” said Paul Rush, whose home was tagged on Sunday.

Rush said they were all not so surprised by the messages left in black spray paint after growing up in Strasburg.

“The one says no F slur and then there’s another one spray-painted over the AC unit that says abomination warning,” Rush said.

Rush thinks the words were in response to a pride flag put up outside of the home. Rush said when they grew up in town they felt isolated, and after getting married they did not want anyone else to feel that way.

“When I put out that flag I wanted to let the community know hey, we exist here too,” Rush said.

Neighbors who have lived on the street for years say they were disturbed something like this would happen so close to home.

“You see it in the city and all this stuff on TV you see but you would never think that it be right here. Somebody stupid would do something like that,” Frankie Talley, a neighbor, said.

Thanks to help from the community the messages have been washed away. Rush said even though this happened they will continue to keep their flag up in hopes the LGTBQIA+ community will still feel supported.

“If you are an ally, if you are a queer person in the community, you’re part of our community, you’re part of this world, you’re part of every culture in this society that has ever existed so let’s not let a couple of people who don’t have their head on right dictate how we need to live,” Rush said.

In a statement to WHSV, Strasburg’s Mayor Brandy Hawkins Boies says the town does not tolerate hate of any kind and it is heartwarming to see so many good humans come together to show their support during this incident.

She added Strasburg is an amazing town and just as we have shown time and time again, love always wins.

Town police told WHSV there is no room for this behavior in town, everyone should feel welcomed in Strasburg and that they will continue to investigate leads.

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