Deborah Cantwell, an Indiana woman who allegedly left a racist note on her neighbor’s door, is behind bars and facing misdemeanor hate crime charges, The Kokomo Tribune is reporting.
Earlier this month, an African American man — who asked not to be identified — said that he and his family, which includes their bi-racial son, decided to move into a home in the Indiana town of Greenwood. Though they hadn’t moved in yet, in the early-morning hours of October 13, the man decided to stop by the house on the way home from work to check it out. What he saw shocked him to his core.
The house had been toilet-papered, and a racist note was attached to the door.
“No N*****s wanted in this neighborhood-THIS IS A WHITE NEIGHBORHOOD-some people find N*****s Stressful… YOUR N****r KID IS NOT WELCOME… YOU CAN SELL YOUR HOUSE AND MAKE MONEY ON IT RIGHT NOW… BY THE WAY HOPE YOU HAVE DEEP POCKETS.”
The mother of the bi-racial boy, identified by Time as Amy Pundt, shared a photo of the letter on her crowd-funding page, with the N-word blacked out.
By October 15, the father had come to suspect that neighbor Deborah Cantwell was the culprit. He called the police.
This letter was written by a woman in greentown INDIANA. Her neighbors adopted an African American child and later received this letter on their doorstep. These are your neighbors & friends people. Pure hate pic.twitter.com/K11uqXeri4— madyson???? (@maddyxspa) October 27, 2018
So how — and why — did the father conclude that Cantwell was behind the letter, and the toilet-papering? He says that he was told by the seller of the home that Cantwell had been making waves around the neighborhood, saying that she didn’t want a black or bi-racial child in her neighborhood.
And in fact, during their investigation, police later uncovered text messages that Cantwell had allegedly sent — although it’s not clear to whom — saying that she was “concerned” about the family.
“I am stressing now that we are going to get black neighbors. I am hoping that more people look at the house and an all-white family are the ultimate buyers. I am afraid the stress of black neighbors could put me in the hospital.”
When police showed up to arrest her, Cantwell allegedly claimed that she was “just venting” and that she and her family had been victimized by black kids before. She said that the police “didn’t do anything.” She declined to apologize.
She has since been charged with misdemeanor counts of intimidation and criminal mischief. She has posted bond and, as of this writing, is free. However, according to the conditions of her release, she is not to have any contact with the family.
The family, meanwhile, has started a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise money “for legal fees” — and for a fence and security system. As of this writing, the crowd-funding campaign has raised just over $8,700 of its $10,000 goal.