VANDALISM SUSPECTED AS HATE CRIME

San Antonio police are investigating vandalism to a local Muslim family’s vehicles as a hate crime, while the FBI also plans to look into the matter. During a news conference at their Northwest Side home Said and Amel Motawea said they were alerted by a neighbor on Friday morning that their vehicles had been vandalized…

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San Antonio police are investigating vandalism to a local Muslim family’s vehicles as a hate crime, while the FBI also plans to look into the matter. During a news conference at their Northwest Side home Said and Amel Motawea said they were alerted by a neighbor on Friday morning that their vehicles had been vandalized with a profanity and a message to leave the neighborhood. The Motaweas, who are originally from Egypt, have lived in the United States for half their lives and have four U.S.-born children. Flanked by supporters, neighbors and activists of the Muslim community, the Motaweas said they lived peacefully in their neighborhood for eight years. Then, during the past week, they found someone had thrown beer bottles and eggs at their home and cars. They said they shrugged off the incidents, but became concerned when their vehicles were damaged. On their minivan, someone wrote – with permanent marker – a profanity and a message exhorting the family to move out. Another car had scratches and graffiti to the rear, and police confirm that the Motaweas have been targeted, apparently because of their religion and ethnicity. San Antonio police spokeswoman Sandy Gutierrez said that the vandalism is classified as a hate crime.