ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) is currently investigating arson and graffiti involving racial slurs and vulgar images around Perinton.
At around 2 a.m. Friday, deputies said they responded to an address on Crossing Creek Drive for the report of two people with spray paint in an apartment complex parking lot. Upon arrival, they saw the suspects flee the scene towards Mason Road. Deputies said they saw a racial slur painted on a vehicle in the parking lot.
They were unable to locate the individuals.
Further investigation of the area revealed additional graffiti containing a racial slur and vulgar images on a garage door and electrical box. Deputies said they are reviewing the surveillance footage available.
The following morning just before 3 a.m., MCSO responded to nearby 49 Mason Road, for a house fire. Everyone was able to exit the home safely. Investigation revealed evidence that the fire was intentionally set.
While investigating, deputies said they discovered fresh graffiti on entry sign to Church of the Resurrections a few doors down at 63 Mason Road. The sign had a racial slur painted on one side and a swastika on the other.
MCSO is currently in the process of obtaining security footage. Officials would not comment on the specific slurs or images involved in the graffiti.
“These acts are despicable, disturbing and will not be tolerated,” said Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said in a statement. “Our investigators and deputies are working around the clock to determine who is responsible. We are dedicating any resources the investigators see necessary to bring those who committed these crimes to justice. We will prosecute these individuals to the fullest extent of the law.”
The case is currently under investigation in tandem with the Monroe County Fire Bureau, and law enforcement said they will be pursuing the maximum charges possible.
“Based on our findings we’ll decide what charges there will be, and I can tell you, this they’ll be the maximum charges we can come up with,” MCSO Captain Scott Alberti said. “Because you shouldn’t get emotional in police work, but it’s upsetting to see this stuff. Because it goes against everything we believe in.”
Representatives with MCSO said they believe the arson and graffiti to likely be related.
Officials are encouraging homeowners and business owners to check their surveillance footage during overnight hours of November 25 and 26 for any sighting of the suspects. Anyone with information is encouraged to call 911 and ask for the Zone A commander, Captain Scott Alberti.
“Quite honestly, at three in the morning, just look for anybody walking down the road or driving by,” Alberti said. “Because, it may not be suspicious to [you], but it could be important for us, because we collect pieces and put them together.”
“I can tell you that the people in Perinton believe in community and the people that did this think they can tear us apart,” County Legislator John Baynes said in response to the incident. “They will not.”
Check back with News 8 WROC as we continue to update this developing story.