Photo by Taryn Asher
GARDEN CITY, Mich. (WJBK) - The house on Deering Street in Garden City, Mich. looks like it was vandalized, but the person who lives there did the graffiti herself. "Jesus raped me" and "End OCC witch hunt" adorn the front of the bungalow. Neighors who live on the street woke up Tuesday to find the offensive words spray painted on their neighbor's home.
"I can't wait until you are gone!" one neighbor yells at her.
Tempers are certainly flaring after the woman used her home as a canvas to place blame for her plight and plea for help.
"I'm a college English teacher," the woman told FOX 2's Taryn Asher. "I'm a published author. I am using a metaphor."
But desparate neighbors who have lived on this street for most of their lives and called FOX 2 for help feel there must be a better way.
"'Jesus raped me?' Come on. That's horrible. There's children," says neighbor Louanne Sausser.
"She's not wanted in this neighborhood. Look at her house. Would you want to live next to her?" asks Greg Warner.
"I was scared! I'm like, this is ridiculous," says Danielle Campbell. "Why do my children have to be witness this? Why do I have to explain to them what this is?"
The first thing Campell says she did was call police, who we're told are very familiar with this woman and have dealt with her mental issues in the past.
Officers showed up Wednesday while FOX 2 was there, but the homeowner would not allow officers inside and there was nothing they could do to intervene.
FOX 2's Taryn Asher spoke to Garden City police who said, basically, their hands are tied. It's not a crime for someone to vandalize their own property and that she is protected by her First Ammendment rights. Police are working with agencies right now to get her the help she needs, but in the meantime, neighbors are going to have to deal with it.
"We are just looking to move," Campbell says. "We are looking to find somewhere safer for my children. I love my neighbors, but I can't have [my children] across from this."
Neighbors' only hope is getting the building department involved. It will determine if the graffitti violated any ordinances and the city may be able to get her to cover up her work, and eventually restore peace in this once-quiet neighborhood.