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Scrawled slurs surprise Saugus neighborhood

Vandalized vehicle stuns residents of quiet block

Posted: September 1, 2008 9:09 p.m.
Updated: November 3, 2008 5:00 a.m.

A white GMC truck in a quiet Saugus neighbor-hood was vandalized with racial and political comments late Sunday night.

Residents in Saugus spent Monday asking why someone would scrawl swastikas and a racial slur on a pickup truck on Woodside Drive.

The vandals struck Sunday evening on the 24000 block of Woodside Drive. The suspects used red and white shoe polish to draw swastikas, a common racial slur for African Americans and references to both presidential candidates on a white pickup parked outside Alam Chowdhuri's home.

The truck belongs to a friend of Chowdhuri's son. The son and his friend left the vehicle parked in front of the home and went fishing Sunday afternoon. When they returned, they found the truck vandalized and their neighbors crowded around the vehicle stunned, he said.

"In my nine years living here, there has been nothing like this," Chowdhuri said. The incident occurred at about 7 p.m., Chowdhuri said. Sheriff's were called and were on scene by 8:30 p.m. snapping pictures and taken reports.

Alex Daggon was one of the neighbors interviewed by deputies. She lives across the street and first saw the vandalized truck around 8 p.m. She didn't see who did it, Daggon said.

The neighborhood is relatively quiet, Daggon said. Her family has lived there for less than a year and there haven't been much more than minor crimes like break ins, she said. The racial tone of the crime disturbs her. "Who would do something like this. It's kind of weird," she said. The vandalism incident leaves her feeling less secure about living in the neighborhood, Daggon added.

Elias Caban has lived in his home on Woodside Drive for 11 years. "The last time I saw anything like this was when the back window on my brother's car was broken," he said. Caban didn't notice the vandalism until this morning. He said it is out of place for the quiet street.

Not all has been quiet on Woodside Drive, Valerie Bradford said. Bradford is a Barack Obama supporter. An Obama campaign sign in her front yard was ripped out on July 4.

Bradford expects incidents like this to happen more frequently as the November election approaches. As the election gets closer there will be more backlash from people who resent Obama's candidacy, she said.
Bradford isn't pointing fingers at any particular person, but said the area is predominantly Republican and anyone who isn't thrilled about Obama's chances of winning may be responsible.

Bradford isn't taking the incident lightly. "It kind of rattles you. You wish we were past all this, but we're not," Bradford said. She doesn't plan on letting the incident deter her from supporting her candidate for president. "If other people had been quiet, we wouldn't be this far," she said.

She and her husband plan to install closed circuit cameras around their property.

Deputies at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station declined comment on the incident or the investigation.


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