Owner of vandalized home cited for assault

ARLINGTON, TX A 43-year-old graffiti abatement worker was trying to get rid of the bright red paint on the home's white garage doors when Broderick Gamble interfered. An officer stationed nearby saw Gamble assault the woman, said Lt. Blake Miller, a spokesman for Arlington police.

Gamble was accused of assault by bodily contact, police said. He faces a $500 fine. Gamble disputed the account, telling Dallas-Fort Worth television station KTVT, "actually they touched me." Attempts by The Associated Press to reach Gamble by telephone were unsuccessful.

Code enforcement workers had a warrant signed by a judge to remove the offensive words from the home, Miller said.

City officials sought to get rid of the graffiti by filing a lawsuit earlier this month against Gamble and Etha Kay "Silk" Littlejohn, the black homeowners. Since Gamble and Littlejohn did not file an appeal, the city was allowed to remove the graffiti, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported on its online edition.

The graffiti was spray painted on the couple's house in late December, days after a white neighbor allegedly struck Littlejohn in the head with a 2-by-4.

The couple rejected some of their neighbors' requests and the city's offer to remove the racist graffiti. Gamble said he wanted people to see the stark symbol of hatred.

Earlier this year, KSKY radio host Mike Gallagher and his wife pledged $500 and then raised nearly $4,000 to replace the graffiti-covered garage doors. Although Gamble picked up the new doors, they were not installed, the station has said.

The couple said they placed a tarp over the racial slurs. But city officials said an ordinance required them to remove, not just cover, the graffiti, The Dallas Morning News reported on its online edition Wednesday.

"Our patience has run out," Mayor Robert Cluck said. "We have every right to do what we've done this morning. We gave them every opportunity to abate the graffiti."

Police haven't found who spray painted the words "Kill." "Die (N-word)." The case remains open, Miller said. Grace Head was charged for the attack on Littlejohn and faces aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and criminal mischief charges. Both were filed as hate crimes.

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