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Vandalism On A Driveway In Del. Turns Into Hate Crime Investigation

NEW CASTLE, Del. (CBS) – There is a difference between mischief and crime. Police in New Castle County are calling a case of vandalism at a home in Duross Heights a hate crime.

Shortly before midnight Thursday, police responded to the home of James Wabae. Wabae says he and his 8-year-old daughter Michelle came home around 11 that night to find their driveway spray painted with a depiction of male genitals and the "N word" scrawled in large orange paint.

Michelle was too terrified to sleep.

"There was a sense of anger when I saw it," James said. "There was also feeling sad for my daughter, 8-year-old who has to be exposed to something like that and the fact that she was scared, as a father, it put me in a sad position."

It was the same emotion James says led him to call police. He said in the 12 years they've lived in the neighborhood, they never experienced anything close to what happened on Thursday.

"Of course there's that fear, we don't know what's next. Why us?" He asked. "We're friendly with everybody in the neighborhood. We don't know why we got targeted."

New Castle County Police immediately labeled the graffiti hate speech, despite what many label "Mischief Night" in the period 24-hours before Halloween.

Police are searching for suspects and asking anyone with information to step forward.

"We definitely want people to know and understand there's a difference between mischief night and being mischievous then being a hate crime," said New Castle County Officer Tracey Duffy. "That is what this is considered to be."

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