CITRUS COUNTY - A Citrus Hills home has been vandalized after someone spray-painted racist slurs on it,deputies say.
Authorities received a call Friday morning from a neighbor, who believed the homeowners were on vacation.
Deputies arrived to the home to find large, red, racist statement spanning the exterior side wall of the home.
The homeowners, who are African-American, were there.
Citrus County Sherri's Office then canvassed the neighborhood, trying to gather information or find surveillance video from any neighborhood homes.
Detectives say that if they can identify the person who damaged the property, that person would be charged with the original crime of criminal mischief, which would be enhanced if the evidence supports prejudice based on race, according to Florida State Statute 775.085, more commonly referred to as the “hate crime” statute.
“We take this type of crime very seriously,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “This type of action is not acceptable in any neighborhood across this country – especially Citrus County -- and will not be tolerated. We will utilize all available resources to bring this case to a resolution.”
The investigation is ongoing and detectives are asking for the public's help in finding the person who vandalized the home.
If you have any information at all about this incident, please contact the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office by calling 726-1121 call 1-888-ANY-TIPS.
© 2017 WTSP-TV