Neighbors' concerns grow after racist graffiti spray-painted on fence

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PEARLAND, Texas – Neighbors in the Spring Meadows neighborhood said someone vandalized their property around midnight Friday and they believe it was racially motivated.

Staffon Garrett said his neighbor alerted him that someone threw a rock at their window overnight.

Both homes back up to open land where a bayou is located. When they walked behind their properties, they found vulgar language, racist words and symbols spray-painted in blue on their fences.

"It says N***** get F*****, then there's a swastika behind me. This is what was on my fence when I woke up this morning,” Garrett said. “I just don’t feel like my family deserves this, I live here with my daughters and my wife and it’s very unsettling.”

Garrett’s neighbor, who is a veteran, said the family woke up to a big noise around 12:30 a.m. When they walked into the living room, glass was everywhere and their big window closest to the ceiling was broken. They found a rock laying in the middle of their floor.

“Right now, what’s going through my mind is, I thought to myself, ‘Is this 2019 or 1819?’” Garrett said.

Garrett said someone threw a rock at their window, too, six months ago, and now doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence.

“First, we took it as some kids you know being kids, but once I saw this, it was time for me to deal with reality and the reality of it is, you know, even though we’ve come a long way as a nation, we still have a long way to go,” Garrett said.

Both families said they’ve filed reports with the Pearland Police Department.

“No, it’s not a coincidence, it’s just something that is part of our society if I can be honest. It’s just something that’s part of our society and in order for us to change it has to change one person at a time, one person in their hearts at a time,” Garrett said. “It makes me feel sad, sad for the people that still think like this. I think that we’ve evolved as a country to where we have the best educational system in the world, we have the best economy, we have the best of everything, so there’s no need for people to be angry with one another, you know, this is the American dream, we’re living the American dream, why do we continue to try to set our country back 200 years when we had to fight so hard to get where we are today.”

Garrett doesn’t know who vandalized their property, but if the suspects are kids, the parents should take this moment to educate their kids.

“I would just encourage each parent to let this be a teaching moment, you know because I believe you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution,” Garrett said. “The unacceptable has become acceptable, the uncommon has become common, we’ve become immune to violence, we’ve become immune to hate and so this is just part of something that happens every day, what happens is it goes unnoticed and I think what’s going to eventually happen is, our country will suffer in the long run because of this.”

Garrett went on to state that even though he’s disappointed by what happened, he won’t let this define the neighborhood.

“It’s a great neighborhood as far as I can see, it’s very diverse, It’s a great community to live in it really is, so I thought,” Garrett said. “I don’t want to pick on Pearland as a whole, I think Pearland is a beautiful community, I think people of Pearland, for the most part, are great people, I just think that sometimes a few bad apples can spoil the whole bunch.”