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Arlington homeowner reacts to racial graffiti
ARLINGTON Tim Dehnhoff feels less welcome in Arlington now than he did when construction began on his home on the 9200 block of 196th Place NE.
Dehnhoff attends church in Arlington and has developed friendships here, but hes been frustrated not only by the dumping, thefts and vandalism on his property, but also by what he perceives as a disappointing police response to such incidents.
When Dehnhoff went to check on the progress of his houses construction Sept. 24, he found a swastika and a racial slur had been spray-painted on its walls, but he noted that hed reported incidents of the property being used as a dumping ground before then.
I understand how kids might want a place to party, Dehnhoff said. But I was finding couches, beds and refrigerators on the site, and there were thefts of building materials taking place. Even after they found the swastika, it kind of felt like the police were dragging their feet, until the builder talked about going to KING 5 news, and then, we couldnt get enough attention.
Dehnhoff described his own family as part Native American, and the general contractors son, whos also the job supervisor, as coming from a mixed racial background.
Im the furthest thing from PC, but this isnt free speech, its hate speech, Dehnhoff said. Ive forgiven whoever did this and Im praying for them, because they need it.
Arlington Assistant City Administrator Kristin Banfield clarified that Arlington Police are currently classifying this crime as malicious mischief, rather than as a hate crime, until they are certain about its motive. She added that police had begun investigating thefts of construction equipment from the site three weeks ago, and are in contact with Mill Creek Police and Snohomish County Sheriffs detectives about swastikas painted on cars in front of a Jewish familys home two weeks ago.