Racist graffiti scrawled on Spring couple's truck

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Friday, July 3, 2015
Couple's pickup targeted with hateful graffiti
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Racial slurs and X-rated messages covered both sides of Darren Franke's pickup, parked in the driveway of his home.

SPRING, TX (KTRK) -- A Spring husband and wife were told to look at their truck this morning. What they saw has scared them, angered them, and puzzled them.

Racial slurs and X-rated messages covered both sides of Darren Franke's pickup, which is always parked in the driveway of their home.

"Who would do this," he asked. For now, the question has no answer.

The family lives in a subdivision where homeowners of different races live, and the Frankes say they've never had a problem.

One woman who lives on the cul-de-sac street says she has seen a Confederate flag inside the garage. It's something she doesn't endorse, but says she and the family smile and wave when they pass each other.

It is more than the truck that has been vandalized in the subdivision in recent months. Messages left on concrete curbs and been painted over. Another neighbor says a friend had graffiti painted on a fence.

It may be that this act of vandalism was random, but the low point of the day came when the couple drove the truck to a car wash, asking for help in removing the messages.

"People stared and pointed," said Haile Franke. "They thought we did it. I think it is hateful and disgusting. Anyone who knows us knows we would never do anything like that."

This afternoon, Haile Franke scrubbed away at the paint. Red, she found, came off easily with alcohol.

As soon as enough is removed, and the family feels safe enough to leave, they will.

"We won't be spending the night here." They are concerned enough that their son is staying with relatives.

"We will however, be installing security cameras outside," the couple said.

The local constable's office is investigating the vandalism.