NEWARK, Del. (CBS) – New Castle County Police Detectives have arrested two teenagers and charged them both him with a hate crime and related offenses.
A man says he found a cross on his front yard — with a racial slur scrawled across it.
It happened in Newark, in the community of Delaplane Court.
“Shock, a little bit of fear and a lot of anger,” Wayne Parson said.
Parson says he was outraged to find the handmade cross left on his front lawn Monday morning. It stood about 5’8’’ tall and measured about 4’ wide, it was placed on the lawn sometime overnight.
Parson explained, “The words were facing directly at the house for the shock value, I’m guessing and it had the desired effect, it shocked me. They filled up each side of the cross with the phrase, ‘I hate the N-word’ and the bottom portion of the cross said, ‘Burn in Hell’.”
Police were called right away and the hate crime investigation got underway to figure out who could have done this and why.
“I have no clue who would do something like this; I don’t know of any enemies. Phone calls, visits, my neighbors have been offering ‘Need anything? Just let them know,’ so it’s comforting. I didn’t assume it could be in any way, shape or form, be one of my neighbors. This is big though, I was actually born in the South,” Parson said.
Born in North Carolina in 1955, Parson moved his family into the Newark home 22 years ago where he and his wife raised two children. Their daughter went on to become a teacher and their son, a retired NFL player, works as a social worker.
Parson’s son, Richard, said, “It’s despicable, it’s the only way to describe it. Now we have to regroup as a family and start spending more time with my parents at the family home, this isn’t right.”
On Tuesday, police say that a 16-year-old male who resides in the unit block of Delaplane Avenue in Delaplane Manor was positively identified as the suspect along with a 15-year-old male who resides in the 200 block of Oakfield Drive in the community of Scottfield in Newark, DE.
A detective from the New Castle County Police contacted the unidentified 16-year-old’s father who was cooperative with the investigation. Detectives conducted a search of the teen’s residence and located PVC pipe and tape that were used to construct the cross. According to the report, evidence collected from the cross was also linked to the juvenile.
Both teens was charged with harassment and a felony hate crime. They were both committed to a juvenile facility.
The investigation is ongoing as police work to determine if others were involved.
Reported by Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3; Ben Bowens, CBSPhilly.com