Police arrest man suspected of painting racist graffiti in Coatesville

- Police say two Chester County communities were hit with racist graffiti. An arrest was made Wednesday night. FOX 29's Shawnette Wilson reports surveillance video lead to the arrest  of  24-year-old George Rissell. The accused has claimed past associations with white supremacy groups. He is being held on $150,000 cash bail.

"Racist slurs all over the wall," said Gerald Myers. That’s what he says he saw when he came out to sit on the porch of his home near the corner of Valley Road and Strode Avenue in Coatesville Wednesday morning. He immediately took a picture of the words and symbols left behind. They’re so vile that we don’t want to show them to you.  He later helped the owners paint over it.

"It's a little scary because we never had that around here before then all of a sudden they end up putting in on the wall and right across the street from us. So it makes people want to keep your finger on the trigger at all times," said Myers.

Coatesville Police say this same type of graffiti showed up on the garage of a home, two cars and a roadway all in the west end section of the city. Police say they did their best to cover it up as quickly as possible.  The reports came in just before 8 Wednesday morning.  

"It's certainly disappointing. It’s heartbreaking to many," said Sergeant Rodger Ollis. He says Coatesville is a diverse community where residents handle race relations well.  This hasn't happened here as long as he can remember.

"I spoke to a father who was a victim and it's a conversation he really didn't want to have with his children.  It's bigger than just the five spots where this hateful graffiti was located.  It's about the community and how they came together," said Sergeant Ollis.

Paula Butts lives near Charles and Strode Avenue where a swatsika was sprayed in the middle of the street. She says her neighbors get along well and look out for each other.  She can't believe this has happened here.

"It's horrible because we live in a society where they think they can say and do what they want to and it's not cool at the end of the day," she said.

Several similar incidents happened there the day before.

 

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