A Nazi symbol -- swastikas -- were spray painted all over a couple's home and yard on the west side of Buffalo and the man and woman who live in the home believe they were targeted because of the woman's nationality. She is a Seneca Indian.
The man who lives in the Garner Avenue home, Bob Thompson, says the swastikas and other vandalism appeared a few hours after an argument between his girlfriend and some neighbors that ended with the neighbors shouting insults about Native Americans. "She's a Seneca Indian and they started calling her names and calling her a "wahoo" and everything like that and she said, 'my name is not that', and so they got real nasty and the next morning all this was done," says Thompson.
"They took spray cans and were spraying everything all over the place, smashed the window in on me," says Thompson describing the scene he found early Tuesday morning. The walls of the house, the walkway, lawn furniture, porch, front steps and even plants in the garden were spray-painted with black swastikas.
Thompson doubts the vandals know the history of the swastika symbol but says the vandals spelled out their hate clearly on the front steps. Thompson had painted over it by Wednesday but says it read "get out Senecas".
"I grew all this garden right here and I don't even keep anything. I give it to the neighbors. I'm always nice with the neighbors. I give it all away. Everything away, and then they treat me like that and treat her like that. It doesn't make sense. That's sick. That's really really sick," says Thompson.
It's not enough to drive Thompson and his girlfriend out of the city though. "Nineteen years we've been here and she doesn't want to leave Buffalo cause all her friends are here and so we put up with it," says Thompson.
Making their decision to stay easier is the fact that other neighbors are now coming forward who want to help. The offers of help include free cleaning services from a Native American who works for a company called Bison Maintenance. "Somebody was over this morning. I went shopping... left a note that he would... he wanted to help clean up the whole house and everything. That was really nice. We had a lot of nice offers from people. Very nice," says Thompson.
A representative from Bison Maintenance called Eyewitness News Wednesday afternoon to say he had made contact with Mr. Thompson and was over at the house with some chemicals to get started on the cleanup.
Police are investigating the incident but so far no one has been charged.