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Published: Wednesday, 4/30/2003

3 women linked to S. Toledo vandalism

Three South Toledo women were arrested yesterday for their alleged roles in two incidents in which a car and a garage were spray-painted with graffiti during a weekend vandalism spree in South Toledo.

Krystal Gomez, 18, of 971 Western Ave.; Crystal Rodriguez, 18, of 1461 South Ave., and Elizabeth Salazar, 19, of 572 South, were charged with two counts each of ethnic intimidation, a first-degree misdemeanor.

The charges stemmed from incidents Saturday at 816 South and 421 Chapin St. At the South address, “KKK” was spray-painted on a car door. A racial epitaph and “KKK” were spray-painted on a garage at the Chapin address.

Delsie Farren, who lives at the Chapin address with her husband and son, was glad to hear of the arrests. “It's really surprising. I would have thought it would have been guys,” she said.

Lt. Rick Reed said people involved in such crimes usually are males. He said the incidents appear to be random. “It was stupid acts by young, immature people,” he said.

Police received at least eight reports of criminal damage and racial, religious, and ethnic graffiti spray-painted on vehicles and garages in South Toledo on Saturday.

The three women, who are friends, pleaded innocent during their arraignment in Toledo Municipal Court, and their cases were sent to the assignment commissioner's office.

Ms. Gomez was released from the Lucas County jail after her arrest. Ms. Rodriguez was released after she posted $2,000 bond. Ms. Salazar was being held last night in the jail in lieu of $2,000 bond.

“I don't know what these girls were thinking. Krystal's not like that at all,” said Irma Gomez, Ms. Gomez's mother.

She said her daughter, who was upset and scared about the situation, is willing to take responsibility for her actions.

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