Capitan police investigate hate crime after racist graffiti found in town

Crime

CAPITAN, N.M. (KRQE) – The small village of Capitan is on edge after racist graffiti was sprayed around the town and police are investigating it as a hate crime. “KKK” and “f*** n******” are just some of the messages tagged around Capitan earlier this month. Amber Warr lives there and said the vandals also targeted her family. The words “KKK blood” were sprayed on the road outside her home.

“There were arrows pointing straight to our apartment so we knew it was targeted towards us,” Warr said. A pellet gun had also shot through her 13-year-old daughter’s window.

“I have bi-racial children and this is a very small town with not many African American people in it, you know, it shook me a little bit,” she said. “It’s very disturbing. Very, very disturbing.” In addition to racial slurs, “BLM” and male genitalia were tagged in other parts of town. Police said there were also some other windows broken by pellet guns.

“To put it point blank, it pissed me off that a community this small would have somebody that would come in here and do this type of graffiti and target a family like this,” Capitan Police Chief Randy Spear said. He said the racist graffiti and use of pellet guns come after other instances of pellet guns shooting through cars and building windows since late March.

“The way this thing has been going, we believe they are related,” Chief Spear said. The graffiti has since been cleaned up thanks to village staff and a young, kind neighbor.

“There’s a little girl that goes to the school and that morning before school even started, she saw where they had spraypainted the really, really bad stuff on the wall across the street from us and she gathered some people from the school and had them go and paint over it and that was really nice,” Warr said. Warr wants consequences for the vandals.

“Whether this is an adult that did it or a child…you just can’t do this kind of thing,” she said. “And young kids, I think sometimes, they hear other things by parents or by media and this and that they go along with it. They don’t even really know what they’re doing or saying. But if it’s not caught young, I mean what else could it escalate to?”

Until the vandals are caught, Warr has a message for them. “Open up your minds to other peoples’ races, their religions, their traditions, everything. And, you know, realize you’re not the only person on this earth. There’s other people and it takes all of us to make the world go round,” she said.

Police said they have persons of interest and believe it was a group of young kids. They are asking parents to talk to their kids and bring any information to the police. Crimestoppers has a $500 reward for any information leading to an arrest. Crimestoppers can be reached at 575-257-4545.

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