SHEBOYGAN – Sheboygan Police are investigating “racial and offensive” graffiti that was found on the garage of a west-side home where a car fire was reported.
“There was some graffiti that was located on the garage at the time … that had some racial undertones,” said Capt. Kurt Brasser, who heads up the department’s Criminal Investigations Division.
Images taken near the scene later that day by a USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin reporter showed the graffiti said: “Go back to your own country.” The message was accompanied by at least two swastikas, and the vandalism appeared scrawled in red spray paint.
Brasser said both the fire, which was reported just before 3 a.m. on the 900 block of North 26th Street, and the graffiti are being investigated together. He declined further comment while the investigation was still ongoing.
The resident attacked didn’t know about the spray-painted message until a reporter told her about it late Wednesday afternoon. But she said loud sirens early in the morning woke her up. She suspected they may have been for an elderly neighbor needing emergency services — a retirement home is nestled at the nearby street corner — but the sheer quantity of responding vehicles left her suspicious.
According to neighbors the neighborhood has seen racial diversity in the past, but noted they never seen people along the block make their neighbors feel out of place.
Brasser said he hadn’t seen images of the graffiti by Wednesday afternoon, but said he understood the message “was racial and offensive, basically.”
The city’s police and fire departments responded to the vehicle fire in a private driveway early Wednesday morning. There were no injuries in the fire.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Sheboygan Police at (920) 459-3333.