MAYFAIR, PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Philadelphia police are investigating an allegation that a racist note was left on the windshield of an African-American who parked her car on a predominantly white block in the city's Mayfair section.
Only FOX 29 was there when officers arrived on the 3100 block of Teesdale Street Tuesday afternoon, clutching a torn sheet of graph paper with a vile message written on it.
Addressed to N-----, it reads "do not park around here again, b----", and is signed "K-K-K."
Lima, the recipient of that message, asked that we not show her face.
"I was shocked," she told FOX 29's Bruce Gordon when asked for her initial reaction. "At first, I thought it was a joke or a prank and I was just thinking that someone would come out laughing, but then I looked at it again and I was like, I can't believe this is happening around here."
Lima, who is African-American, lives on nearby Cottman Avenue, but traffic there is heavy and parking is tight. Many residents park around the corner on Teesdale Street, in what appears to be a predominantly white neighborhood.
Lima did so Sunday night, and says she came out Monday morning to find the note.
"I was scared," she said. "And I was thinking, maybe they followed me or maybe they know where I live, and I don't want to fear for my life that somebody would do something to me if I was to park around there again."
Bernadette Waites is Lima's next door neighbor on Cottman.
She, too, parked on the 3100 block of Teesdale Street Sunday night, as she often does. On her way to work Monday morning, the right front tire on her SUV went flat. A nail had punctured the tread.
Then she saw Lima's windshield note, and is no longer so sure the nail was just a bit of bad luck.
"That's racist," she said of the message. "It's hateful. In this climate--in this day and age--that's intolerable."
Lima says her mother also parks on that block of Teesdale.
She, too, has gotten nails in her tires. She's had two flats in the last couple of weeks alone.
"I just want it to stop," says Lima. "But that we've been living around people who have been preying on us the whole time, it's really sad."
FOX 29 has blurred the note where appropriate in accordance with station policy not to show symbols of hate.