Indiana woman accused of leaving racist note on neighbor's house

Credit: Howard County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Howard County Sheriff's Office

A 63-year-old Indiana woman was arrested Thursday after police accused her of leaving a racist letter on the door of neighbors who were about to move into the neighborhood, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

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Deborah Cantwell, of Greentown, was charged with misdemeanor counts of intimidation and criminal mischief, the newspaper reported. She was released after posting bond.

On Oct. 13, the Howard County Sheriff's Office received a complaint that their home had been covered in toilet paper and a racist letter had been attached to the door, the Tribune reported. The family has a black son, the newspaper reported.

A probable-cause affidavit referred to the note as “racially offensive and threatening in nature.” Parts of the letter were quoted in the affidavit, which removed the racist vulgarities allegedly used by Cantwell.

Investigators originally believed the letter was written by juveniles. But they targeted Cantwell after obtaining text messages that had been sent by the woman to another person, whose name was retracted from the affidavit, the Tribune reported.

“I am stressing now that we are going to get black neighbors,” Cantwell texted. “I am hoping that more people look at the house and an all-white family are the ultimate buyers. I am afraid the stress of black neighbors could put me in the hospital.

“My blood pressure is elevated just thinking about the possibility.”

According to police, Cantwell admitted in an Oct. 18 interview that she wrote the letter and toilet-papered the yard.

"I mean, the blacks get away with it every time," Cantwell told an investigator in the affidavit, according to the Tribune.

“Just rage, I was trying to vent,” she later said, the newspaper reported. “I am sorry that it caused so much ruckus, but I feel like I released some anger writing that letter.”

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