CRIME

Gaithersburg vandalism investigated as a hate crime

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Montgomery County Police are investigating a series of vandalism incidents at a Gaithersburg home as a hate crime.

Police say the two incidents occurred Nov. 7 and 8 in the 20300 block of Swallow Point Road. In one incident, the suspects used racial slurs against the homeowners.

“It's disturbing and it's a horrifying,” said Apple Ridge resident Narisu Narisu, a neighbor of the victim.

The first incident happened Monday night, when police say the owners of the home reported that a group of juveniles, consisting of four black males and a black female, were throwing trash and orange construction cones onto their property, ringing the doorbell and running away. By the time police arrived the suspects were gone.

On the following evening, the homeowners said the group returned and banged on the front door. As the youths ran away, they shouted racial slurs and told the homeowners to "go back to India."

Responding officers observed boot prints and deep scratches and dents in the front door.

“We have had experiences of people paintballing our door,” said Irene Ellis, another Apple Ridge resident. “One time it was pizza, they just threw pizza at the door.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Germantown Investigative Section of the Montgomery County Police Department at at 240-773-6237.

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