LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – La Crosse Police said they are investigating an incident of vandalism as a hate crime.
Owner Mike Ahmad, a Muslim-American, found racist graffiti spray painted on the garage. He said he and his wife have lived in La Crosse for 20 years. They’ve never experienced racism like this before.
La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat said the incident is not a representation of the community. “La Crosse is not about that type of racism and hatred. I just feel absoultely awful for the owners, really all of our Muslim people here in La Crosse. That is not what La Crosse is about.”
La Crosse Police, in a statement, said they will pursue enhanced penalties for hate crimes as allowed under state law.
Their statement said, in part, “The La Crosse Police Department will not tolerate hate crimes, racism or any other cowardly act meant to alienate a member of our community. We are a diverse city with a history of acceptance. We will not allow that to change.”
“This incident is not a reflection of our community, but rather a reflection of a hate-filled person,” said La Crosse Police Chief Ron Tischer.
Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to contact police. Tips can anonymously be provided to the La Crosse Area Crime Stoppers at 608-784-TIPS (8477) or online at www.lacrossecrimestoppers.com. You can also download the Crime Stoppers App “P3” to submit a tip via your phone.