(Susan Tebben/WOUB)

Alleged Hate Crime Victim Speaks Out

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The Athens County Sheriff’s Office says it closed the investigation of an alleged hate crime on Wednesday because of a lack of investigative leads.

On Sunday, deputies responded to a call on Pine Street in reference to a breaking and entering. Deputies met Sharell Arocho, who discovered her storage unit at Affordable Mini Storage was broken into and vandalized. The words AWB and a swastika were spray painted on the front of her storage unit, and the words KKK White Knights were spray painted on the front of the neighboring storage unit.

“I just was really, really, really shocked. I’ve lived here for a while, like eight years, and I haven’t run into anything like this,” Arocho said. “I was really upset about my stuff, and then on top of that to see [the graffiti] on the outside it was like salt on top of a wound.”

Arocho took to Facebook to share the picture of the vandalized storage units in an effort to inform the community.

“It’s so important for people to know that it does exist and there are people [in Athens] that are like that,” Arocho said. “I’ve heard a few people in Athens talk about, you know, how Athens is not racist but it happened to me.”