Kentucky gas station vandalized with racial slurs

Published: Feb. 1, 2018 at 6:52 PM EST
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A gas station in Greenup County was hit with vandalism overnight Wednesday. The vandals spray-painted vulgar phrases and symbols such as "white power," swastikas, and language too vulgar to air.

"I'm just really shocked that somebody is doing that," said store owner Gary Singh.

Singh says he got a call early Thursday morning from an employee who discovered the vandalism. Security footage shows a person wearing a ski mask approaching the store just after 11:30 p.m.

"I was really nervous about that," Singh said. "It happened to me for the first time in this store in four years time. I've never done wrong to the community here. I try to help the community all the time."

Customers coming in to the store Thursday say they were just as disturbed by the vandalism.

"It's sad that in America in this day and age we're still doing this," said frequent customer Barb Glockner. "It should not be happening."

Glockner lives just down the road and is in the store almost every day and considers Singh a friend.

"He's a wonderful member of our community, and no one deserves this. Especially not Gary."

Singh says he came to America from India in the early 1990s to pursue the American dream, but what happened at his store is more of a nightmare.

Kentucky State Police say they are investigating the case as criminal mischief but they do plan on working with county prosecutors to discuss a hate crime charge on those responsible.

Customers hope the disturbing images and hateful act do not reflect on their community.

"I think if they put themselves in Gary's place, would you want somebody doing that to you?" Glockner said. "We live by the golden rule. We do unto others and evidently they do not live by that rule."

But despite the hateful comments, Singh says he could forgive the vandals, and hopes they do not strike again.

"Please don't do it to anybody else," Singh said. "Don't hurt anybody's feelings. Let them work and enjoy their life."

Troopers say they are still working on identifying a suspect.