HIGHLANDS, Texas - An SUV was found burned and vandalized Friday in east Harris County outside a house that was spray-painted with hate speech.
The car and home were found with the term "(N-word) leave” and "Get out," at a Highlands home in the 300 block of San Jacinto Street.
The homeowner, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he was asleep inside the home when he saw flashing lights just after 5 a.m. and noticed his car was on fire. When he went outside he saw the vulgar words.
“I walked to the front and looked out the window and seen my car out there all burned up,” the homeowner said. “It’s disturbing. It’s sick thoughts that makes people do these crazy things.”
The 51-year-old man said he has lived at the home alone for the last eight months. He has five children, who were not home at the time, but visit often, he said.
“Why me? I don’t do much. I don’t go a lot of places. I pretty much stay home. I don’t mess with a lot of people,” he said.
The father of five said there have been other instances.
“I just hear cars rolling by with the N-word, 'Get out’ and it’s funny that I’m saying this because that’s exactly what it says on that car,” the homeowner said.“I just plan on staying here and living,” he said.
The Harris County Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
The Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, condemned the attack.
"We condemn this racist vandalism, especially in light of the divisive atmosphere in our nation," said CAIR-Houston Executive Director Mustafaa Carroll. "It is unacceptable that these types of racially-motivated incidents still happen."
A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.