DOVER, Del. (CBS3/AP) ― Delaware State Police are investigating after a Dover-area man found racist graffiti on his home.

Police say the 63-year-old man was cutting his grass Saturday when he discovered a racial slur spray-painted on the side of his house on Lordship Lane.

Speaking exclusively with Eyewitness News, Charlene Relford recounts her initial reaction to the graffiti.

“It takes a lot to make me cry because I’m from the military,” said Relford, an Air Force veteran who says she’s lived in her Dover home for 17 years. “When I saw it, I busted out crying as my first reaction. That’s how hard it hit me.”

State troopers were called and the area was processed for any evidence or possible witnesses.

Police spokesman Sgt. Walter Newton says the homeowner is black.

The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

Anyone seeking information or wishing to report a suspect can do so anonymously with the Delaware State Police at 1-800-TIP-333 or

(© 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

Watch & Listen LIVE