The woman accused of spray-painting “Hail Trump” alongside a racial slur onto a neighboring home appeared before a judge Monday.
Patricia Edelen, 47, of the 600 block of Ogden Avenue, was arraigned in Toledo Municipal Court on misdemeanor charges of ethnic intimidation, criminal mischief, criminal damaging, and obstructing official business.
Warning: The following video posted on Facebook depicts explicit language.
A judge continued bond at $25,450, issuing a no-contact order with the victim. Ms. Edelen pleaded not guilty to all counts.
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Neighbors across the street on Saturday morning recorded the Ogden Avenue vandalism, which included a message of the “N-word” and "keep out" on the house. They told police they were afraid someone would burn down the home because of what was painted on it, according to an incident report.
A Realtor selling the property streamed video of the vandalism on Facebook Live, drawing a wide response. Several nearby residents saw the online video and worked together to clear the property. They scrubbed and used a power washer on the spray paint.
This offense does not meet the federal standard of a hate crime, and so authorities charged Ms. Edelen with ethnic intimidation under state law, Toledo police Lt. Kevan Toney said.
That increases the severity of each misdemeanor charge, Lieutenant Toney said.
Police conducted their investigation and filed warrants against Ms. Edelen. They forced entry Saturday evening after she shut and locked the outer screen door on them, Lieutenant Toney said.
“Once we filed the warrants, our crews remained in the area and set up surveillance until we could determine she was inside the house,” Lieutenant Toney said.
Investigators are pleased residents assisted, allowing for a quicker action, Lieutenant Toney said.
“Any crime that appears to be racially motivated, we follow up immediately and aggressively, and that's what we did in this case. We're grateful we had good evidence and witness cooperation in the neighborhood,” Lieutenant Toney said.
Ms. Edelen's next hearing date has not yet been set. She remained held in the Lucas County jail as of Monday.
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