FBI investigating alleged racially charged vandalism, arson at S.C. home

FBI investigating alleged racially charged vandalism, arson at S.C. home
The FBI and the Walhalla Police Department are investigating an act of vandalism and arson at a home in Walhalla; the victim believes the incident is racially motivated. (Source: WYFF)

WALHALLA, S.C. (WYFF) - The FBI and the Walhalla Police Department are investigating an act of vandalism and arson at a home in Walhalla; the victim believes the incident is racially motivated.

According to Walhalla police, the words “You Don’t Belong” were found written on the side of a Crystal Stywalt’s house. Stywalt is an African American woman who had recently moved into the neighborhood. The drainage pipe directly below the writing was also set on fire.

On Aug. 30, Stywalt was walking from her driveway to her house in the back of her yard after work when she noticed the writing on the wall of her home. She believes the person who wrote the wording is familiar with her work schedule and knew that she always walks into her home through the rear entrance.

“I’m pretty sure that they know I walk this walkway every morning,” said Stywalt. “They put it right here so that I could see it when I walk this walkway into my house.”

Stywalt says she immediately called Walhalla and they came out to investigate. It wasn’t until after police had initially left that she realized her drainage pipe had also been set on fire.

She believes that this act of vandalism is racially charged, but says that she is doing her best to keep a strong mind and positive attitude.

“I don’t want anyone changing my mind about anything,” said Stywalt. “I’ve made this my home and it is my home, and I’m not gonna let anybody change that.”

Officials with the Walhalla Police Department say this remains an open investigation and they encourage anyone with any information to contact law enforcement.

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