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.”

Also in Patch:


P Terrell November 11, 2012 at 04:45 AM
I live on Weston Place, where the vandalism occurred. Weston Place is a quiet mixed neighborhood of Whites and African Americans. There is also a small Asian community a block away on West Bruno. Everyone lives in this neighborhood in harmony with no racial tension or problems. I have lived in this neighborhood for almost 15 years and nothing like this has ever happened. This was NOT a hate crime because both Whites and African Americans were targeted. The person who did this is mentally unstable, had been harassed by teenagers from another neighborhood and just snapped. He is presently getting the medical help that he needs. This was unfortunate isolated incident that should not have occurred. There has been a lot of media attention about this incident but they did not mention how my neighbors worked together (Whites & African Americans) to power wash the graffiti from the homes and paint over the residue. The people who live on this street always look out for each other and help anyone in need. We are a close-knit neighborhood with a strong block unit. Richmond Heights is a wonderful place to raise a family. The mayor, city manager, councilmen, police officers, and all the other public service employees work very hard to make this community a wonderful place to live. I want to thank all of them for all of their hard work. Peggy Terrell, Richmond Heights
David December 15, 2012 at 01:19 AM
We are all AMERICANS. No more Africans, No more Europeans. WE ARE ALL AMERICANS.


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