An Ohio couple recently lost their home to an explosion that leveled the house. Angela and Brad Frase were, thankfully, not home at the time of the explosion.
The couple had suffered an electrical fire in the home at the beginning of July this year and were staying at a local hotel while repairs were being done to make the home liveable again. They were set to move back in September, until the most recent fire.
The explosion is being investigated as a possible hate crime after officials found a misspelled racial slur and a misshapen swastika at the scene while investigating the explosion. The investigation is ongoing, and law enforcement will not be able to determine if this truly was a hate crime until it concludes.
Was the vandalism done at the time of the explosion, before or after needs to be determined. Are the two crimes related or did someone piggyback onto an existing crime scene?
Hate crimes have been on the rise for some time, with the number of reported hate crimes rising every year since 2015. These only represent crimes that were reported and properly classified as hate crimes, the actual number of crimes perpetrated is likely significantly higher.
Wayne County Sheriff Captain Doug Hunter said that local police are working with federal authorities on the investigation in a video update on Facebook. The FBI is often involved with the investigations of hate crimes, and in determining whether a crime qualifies as a hate crime.
You can view that video update below:
Twitter users were quick to condemn the perpetrator, and perpetrators of hate crimes in general.
Why won’t people say the words?#RadicalWhiteTerrorism
— Alex Inman (@InmanAlex) August 8, 2019
This is so sad. I truly am baffled that human beings can’t move beyond hate. It just seems it is the default when we are frightened and feel threatened. Group mentality will be the death of us.
— Rock-it (@susanle) August 7, 2019
I wonder how high the number of hate crimes have to go before the problem is actually effectively addressed? They’ve already been on an upward trend and increased since 2016.
— TellMeWhenIt’sOver (@sinpena14) August 7, 2019
Some were baffled that something like this could still be happening in 2019.
I can’t believe this is an issue in 2019
— SK (@snailkarma) August 7, 2019
Honestly, people who have this sort of mindset, terrorizing people because of their ethnicity, are a hinderance to society. Racists and others like them believe that society must revert back to a time when people were oppressed, mistreated and discriminated against.
— Jordyn Burke (@JordynBurke5) August 7, 2019
Others were glad that the Frases escaped harm.
This is so sad. Just glad the homeowners were not there and safe.
— Nylistic (@nylistic) August 8, 2019
Omg. Thank GOD they weren’t home!
— Krissy Ferro (@KrissyFerro) August 7, 2019
The day before the explosion, a work crew who were making repairs to the house smelled a strong odor of natural gas and discovered that a burner had been left on without the pilot light being lit.
The local gas company cut the supply of gas to the house completely, but there may still have been enough gas inside the house for it to have easily ignited.
The Frases told the Sheriff that they had not experienced any incidences of hate crimes in their neighborhood in the past.
Angela Frase told local media that she was in “total disbelief that there’s still this much hatred in America.”
The couple was only one year from paying off the mortgage on the house they have lived in for 23 years, but have decided to relocate permanently after this disturbing incident.
“We decided that whatever happens, we’re not rebuilding here. We’re not coming back. We’re done.”
While it is unfortunate that the couple has decided to move from the neighborhood they have lived in for the last 23 years, it is understandable. They lost everything in the fire, in addition to the trauma of losing their home in such a violent way.
While this crime is still under investigation, a very definite hate crime that too many do not know about is the case of the murder of the child Emmett Till in 1955. The book Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America is available here.