Mormon family threatened by graffiti

April 22, 2008 4:10:04 PM PDT
Vandals have left a message of hate in Victoria County. A Mormon family is trying to figure out why someone would vandalize their house and threaten to kill them.Those who live here say this vandalism is likely ignorant backlash based in the incorrect assumption that they are somehow tied to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in El Dorado.

Though whoever did this couldn't spell the word Mormon correctly and neglected to use proper grammar in their attacks, but their message was clear.

"That's threatening. It's a little scary," admitted Steve Coons.

When they awoke early Monday to find the graffiti, Steve and Judy Coons were stunned.

Judy said, "For somebody to come and spray paint on my house and on my car and attack my family, you've attacked everything I believe in and everything I hold dear."

The Coons believe someone stole spray paint from near a shed on their property. Authorities say there were no witnesses to the vandalism. So far, no arrests have been made.

Victoria County Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor explained, "Our investigators have some individuals of interest that we're following up on as of today.

Sheriff O'Connor hesitates to call the incident a hate crime. He wants deputies to complete their investigation before they will reach that conclusion.

The Coons say they are mainstream Mormons, not fundamentalists like those currently under investigation at that compound in west Texas. Steve and Judy Coons say they believe in family values, in helping each other and the community. The say this attack on their religion only makes them and their faith stronger.

"We're here. We're not going anywhere," Judy promised. "Nobody's going to make us run."

If you have any information that can help authorities, you are urged to call the Victoria Sheriff's office.

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