PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The garage at the house at 371 Lamarido Street in Brookline is freshly painted.

Not because of a remodeling project, but because before the paint job, it was covered in racially charged graffiti.

“I was angry enough that I actually wanted to do something about it,” said Jason Powell of Brookline.

Powell and his fiancé, who is African American, and their 5-year-old daughter have lived in the house for three years. They say they haven’t had problems there before now. But the found the N-word, a swastika and a death threat painted on the garage door – which was both scary and a rude awakening.

“It’s embarrassing to have something like that painted on your house,” Powell said. “It’s – we have children in the neighborhood, older people. This is a nice family neighborhood.”

That’s pretty much what the neighbors said too. It was hard to have to try to explain such hatred to the small children – many of whom play with the Powell’s young daughter.

“I was actually upset,” said neighbor Vincent Eaniele. “I have a 4-year-old daughter and for her to even see that upset me.”

Powell says he has had a beef with another family in the neighborhood, but it never took on racial overtones. He says the hardest part about it was trying to explain to his daughter who couldn’t ready the words, why someone would write on their garage door.

“We just told her people get angry and sometimes they do things,” Powell said.

Police say they are investigating this as a hate crime, but it could be a few more days until the investigation is complete. That’s when they will be able to determine what charges, if any, will be filed in the case.

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