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Austin man of Chinese heritage finds words ‘China virus’ burned into front yard

Brett Bachtle
Created: September 17, 2020 06:44 PM

(ABC 6 News) - An Austin man, whose heritage is Chinese, claims he's possibly the victim of a hate crime after the words 'China virus' were burned into his front lawn.

David Chao believes the hate speech was spelled out with some type of fertilizer.

"It's just an awful thing to see, to experience, let alone the issue that my heritage is Chinese. I'm not full Chinese. There are some people who know it, but they wouldn't know that," said Chao. "It's dehumanizing, demeaning."

After the message appeared, Chao installed a security camera.  It recorded two people stealing political signs from his front yard.

Chao says he's used to this type of behavior. He says his fence is often vandalized and other racial slurs have appeared in his yard from year to year.

"It's always extremely hurtful. You go through an issue of pain and anger and then you just realize there's not much to be done other than you need to let it grow back and continue on. Unfortunately, whatever was used burned the lawn so this particular scar is going to last for a while,” Chao said.

Chao has put grass seed on the mysterious message to try to cover it, but he says it won’t be gone until next year.

Chao did not report the vandalism to police because there is nothing to go on. He did report the thefts of the political signs, but right now, there is no hate crime investigation.

Police say they’ve had no similar instances of hate speech vandalism since the pandemic began.
 

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