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'Trump' scratched into side of Indian-American family's car in Town and Country

'Trump' scratched into side of Indian-American family's car in Town and Country

'Trump' scratched into a car in Town and Country

An Indian-American family found 'Trump' scratched into their 2008 Honda Accord on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. They are worried that it is a racially charged message.

TOWN AND COUNTRY • Police are trying to determine who scratched 'Trump' into the side of an Indian-American family's car over the weekend.

"Is this a random vandalism act, or am I targeted because I am a minority?" said Sudhir Avirneni. "My family and most of my neighbors are very concerned about the racial undertones of the message."

Avirneni said he watched the contentious presidential race unfold and heard discriminatory remarks made by Donald Trump and his supporters against immigrants. And he has seen reports from across the country of vandalism and violence against minorities following Trump's victory. It's against that backdrop that Avirneni is concerned.

Avirneni said the incident happened sometime between 9 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday. The vandalism was discovered as he and his wife were getting ready to take their older son to a music class.

The 4-inch letters were scratched onto a passenger door of their 2008 Honda Accord, parked in the driveway.

He said it marks the first time in his 20 years living in the U.S. that he has felt targeted.

He said 30 percent to 40 percent of those who live in the new subdivision, at Highway 141 and Clayton Road, are immigrants, with a large Indian and Chinese population.

When his wife saw the scratch, her response was: "I never thought it would happen here, and yeah, it happened."

Their 8-year-old son's reply was: "Oh, somebody supports Trump."

"My hope is that if more people know about this cowardly act, more people will be vigilant and come together condemning this kind of behavior," Avirneni said. "Hopefully, the election mania will die down soon, and people once again can live together and respect one another."

Avirneni said his wife was so upset, she talked about buying a gun "and we're not gun people."  He said no other residents of the neighborhood had reported any vandalism although police did tell him that items had been taken from some unlocked vehicles.

"Hopefully, it's just teenage crap," he said. "I keep telling myself that. But we're still shaken."

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Doug Moore is a former reporter for the P-D. Currently, policy director for St. Louis County Council.

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