PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Troutdale man returned home after 3 days out of town to find his house extensively damaged and covered in hateful graffiti Tuesday night.
“I thought it was just a joke or something. I looked at it for a few seconds,” Hasel Afshar said.
Hate-filled messages were spray painted on surfaces in every room of the house, including the on TV, fridge and toilet. The graffiti included anti-Muslim messages and a note threatening the man’s life weighed down with bullets arranged in the shape of a cross.
Afshar is a refugee from Iran who came to America in 2010. He admits it has not always been easy and discrimination like this only makes it more difficult.
“I think this is a great country but I don’t know, it’s just a lot of racist people,” Afshar said.
Despite what the vandal seemed to believe, Afshar is not a Muslim. He is of the Baha’I faith.
Afshar’s neighbor, KC Culver, said it made him sick to see the damage. He wants Afshar to know his neighbors are there for him.
“There’s been a lot of support a lot of people wanting to help to get his home cleaned up and repaired, do anything we can to help him. He’s a nice guy,” Culver said.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said the graffiti includes statements consistent with intimidation/bias crime. Detectives are investigating. The FBI and Council on American-Islamic Relations are involved in the investigation.
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact 503.988.0560.
Troutdale Mayor Casey Ryan released a statement Thursday about the crime, saying he was distressed to learn about the “horrible attack.” He said the city and sheriff’s office are devoting substantial resources to finding out who is responsible.
“No one should have to experience the fear of being targeted or attacked based on their identity or for practicing their religion. I regret that this violence has penetrated our community, and it underscores the importance of working towards establishing more connections and compassion in our communities,” Ryan said.