AUSTIN - Austin police are investigating after someone spray painted racist comments outside of an Austin Home Depot where Hispanics often hang out and look for work. And Home Depot representatives said this isn’t the first time this has happened in recent weeks.
Austinite Willie Burnett told KVUE he saw the spray paint outside the Home Depot located at Interstate 35 and Woodward Street on Oct. 23. A few days later, he posted the photos to his Facebook page.
“I was unnerved to find this despicable graffiti that was done right at the spot where immigrant workers hang out looking for work outside Home Depot,” Burnett said in his post.
Below spray-painted comments such as “No more rapists,” “Third world eyesore” and “Average Mexican I.Q. = 70,” someone spray painted the words “Vote Trump” on the ground.
When KVUE’s Jennifer Auh arrived at the Home Depot Thursday morning, it appeared that the spray paint had been covered up with paint.
Auh spoke with a Home Depot representative who confirmed that the comments were spray painted there and said they reported the incident to the Austin Police Department. The representative also told Auh that the graffiti messages appeared several weeks ago and have reappeared several times since.
APD told KVUE a report was filed regarding a spray paint incident on Oct. 11 at 10:49 a.m.
Auh spoke with one immigrant worker outside Home Depot who said he is offended by the message, but “doesn’t want to stoop to their level by getting riled up about it.”
Alejandro Caceres with Grassroots Leadership was also at the Home Depot handing out cards to let the workers know of their rights. He told Auh he’s concerned that the offenders are trying to scare away the workers there.
An APD sergeant said the particular case that was reported "was reviewed, assigned and suspended pending further investigative leads.”
APD said that since the spray-painter is unknown and there are no suspect descriptions, “there is very low likelihood of positively identifying the person who committed this offense.”
If the offender is identified and arrested however, that person would face criminal mischief charges. If you have information regarding this incident, contact APD.