Neighbor Says "KKK" Painting Not the Full Story in Richmond Heights
A man who lives close to the homes and cars spray-painted with "KKK" on Saturday night said that's not indicative of the neighborhood.
Mathew Ritter lives on Bredell Avenue across from one of the Richmond Heights homes spray-painted with the letters “KKK” last Saturday night.
He said the vandalism and related news coverage upset him. He contacted Patch to tell his side of the story of the neighborhood. He and his wife have lived there since 2010.
“I can’t give the demographics of the street, but I can tell you we have Asian Americans up there, African Americans all around, it’s mixed, it’s diverse,” he said. “There’s never been anything like that at all, so I was very upset about it.”
He said around 7:30 Saturday night he noticed police cars on Thomas Avenue and blue spray paint on a car, and thought that was all. Then on Sunday morning he saw “KKK” spray-painted on a neighbor’s fence, so he called the Richmond Heights Police.
Ritter said the man he believes is responsible went to his neighbor’s door Saturday night.
“He had an interaction with the guy who came by, apparently fairly intoxicated late at night, and that’s how the railing was broken, out front. He didn’t know about his car,” Ritter said. His neighbor’s railing was torn down and his car was spray-painted.
He said the man had “apparently fashioned a holster device to carry his spray paint cans.
“As news came out, it was apparent he was not successful in targeting one race,” Ritter said. “He’s having some kind of mental evaluations.”
Richmond Heights Police said a man was arrested and is in a hospital for psychiatric care.
Ritter said he’s relieved because the man acted alone and was arrested, and there’s no sense of anyone else who might attack again.
“There’s a fuller story to be told,” Ritter said. “We don’t want to minimize how upsetting it was, but at the same time it’s good to make the point that it’s not representative of Richmond Heights. People are going to join together.”
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