Hate crime might have been a case of mistaken identity Apparently, slur left on car intended for someone else

September 03, 1997|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Howard County police are investigating a hate crime in North Laurel that apparently was based on mistaken identity.

Sgt. Steven E. Keller, a police spokesman, said a homeowner in the 9700 block of Mountain Laurel Way who peered out his window when he was awakened by thunder about 3: 45 a.m. Monday saw two teen-agers appearing to break into a neighbor's 1994 Honda Accord.

The resident called police, but the teen-agers ran away, Keller said.

When police arrived, they found that the car had been vandalized -- the driver-side window shattered, air released from the tires and the hood, trunk and side doors scratched with an unknown object, Keller said.

The vandals also wrote a racial slur against an African-American female on the hood of the car in shaving cream, Keller said.

But the owners of the Honda are an Asian couple, according to Keller.

"They told the investigating officer that they just moved in and that they have not had any problems with anyone," Keller said. "It appears that this may have been a case of mistaken identity of the car."

Police are searching for the vandals.

Pub Date: 9/03/97

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