54ºF

Community paints over racial slurs spray-painted on Belleview home

Investigation into vandalism still ongoing, deputies say

photo

BELLEVIEW, Fla. – A Belleview woman's church and community are painting over racial slurs she found spray-painted on her home and vehicles a week ago. 

Nakea Darisaw said this is a fresh start for her and her family. 

"We're thankful for everything that everyone has done for us," Darisaw said. 

The hateful memories from a week ago were painted over Saturday morning.

Stephen Antoine, a pastor at BreadBreakers Ministries in Ocala, and members of the congregation spent hours covering up the vandalism.

"This is a pictorial view of love overcoming hate and literally in a couple weeks you're not going to be able to know this stuff happened, which is great," Antoine said.

Last weekend, Darisaw woke up to find racial slurs painted on her house and cars. The word "go" was spray painted on her door, along with a long wavy line of red paint that wrapped around her home.

Church members painted over the vandalism with a fresh coat of green paint.

BreadBreakers Ministries, along with local businesses and restaurants, are helping Darisaw's family move past the hate and are surrounding them with love.

"There's just been a lot of people coming together who knew about this and said, 'Hey, this is not who we are. We want to help. How can we help you?'" Antoine said.

Darisaw said she has also felt hate from the community. She said there are people on social media claiming her family is behind the vandalism.

The mother of six said she is paying for the repairs her insurance doesn't cover and she is not taking any money raised through GoFundMe.

Darisaw said she will forgive whoever did this.

"I know God would want me to forgive them, even though their words hurt. They did," she said.

Darisaw said since the vandalism, she has since installed security cameras and lights and is paying to have a fence installed around her home.

She adds this fresh start will eventually help her feel safe again in her own home.

"We take it one day at a time," Darisaw said.

Officials from the Marion County Sheriff's Office said detectives are aware of the fraud claims on social media.

The sheriff's office said they are investigating the crime as a felony criminal mischief case, which could possibly be enhanced under Florida's hate crime statute.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Marion County at 352-368-STOP.
 
 


About the Author: