Police investigating acts of ethnic intimidation inside Detroit's Pingree Park neighborhood

Posted at 11:39 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 23:39:43-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A white family in Detroit's Pingree Park neighborhood were the targets of a hate crime, according to Detroit police.

On Wednesday, the department released a home surveillance video of a suspect and statement that read in part: "On Saturday, August 15, 2020, at approximately 5:30 a.m. in the 5000 block of Burns St., home surveillance footage captured an unknown suspect spray painting ethnic intimidating language on the front walkway of a residence and on street signs nearby."

7 Action News spoke with the homeowner who was the alleged target of the attack. He said he didn't think the perp was a neighbor.

"I don't suspect anyone that lives around here," Johquin Pire said. He also said he doesn't think the suspect should face hate crime charges.

"I don't feel the person is the same thing as a hate group," Pire added.

Pire moved to Detroit four years ago from Argentina. He is married and has a young child. The words "Evil White" were spray-painted on his concrete walkway and on a neighborhood watch sign.

"This is very disheartening to see this transpire," said block club president Toya Ogglesby.

She said they have a diverse neighborhood and they were canvassing the blocks to find out if someone saw something. Meanwhile, they said they won't let the hateful message divide the revitalization within the neighborhood.

"You got to fight hate with love," Ogglesby said. "So, that's what we're doing."

Authorities said the suspect fled on foot. If anyone has seen this suspect or knows of their whereabouts, or has any information about this crime, please call the Detroit Police Department’s Seventh Precinct at 313-596- 5740 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-Speak Up.