Renovations complete for house vandalized with racist graffiti

Posted at 6:07 PM, Mar 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-01 18:08:04-05

CINCINNATI -- Three months after a couple found their rental home vandalized with racist messages, new tenants have moved in.

Damage done to the house

Pat and Joe Jude returned from an out-of-town Thanksgiving to find their East Price Hill property trashed with concrete poured down drains, stair railings kicked down and swastikas and slogans like "white power" spray painted on the walls.

"It was total destruction," Pat Jude

The part that hurt the worst was the reminder of discrimination they've faced before. Their son, Jay, committed suicide because he was bullied for being bi-racial, the Judes said.

The story spread far, and a Gofundme page Pat Jude set up raised $67,855 from more than 2,000 supporters. They had sought just $2,000.

"Out of all the ugliness came something beautiful," Joe Jude said.

It helped to restore the couple's property and their faith in humanity.

"Letters meant more than anything," Pat Jude said. "I mean, people would say 'I know it's not much' and they gave us $5. It wasn't the $5. It was what they wrote, and it actually went global, so we were receiving letters from all over the world."

With all the donations, the Judes have started scholarships, donated to churches and are supporting groups like suicide prevention programs. They also hope to plant an anti-racism "serenity garden" somewhere in a park, and to invite everyone who supported them to help this spring.

"I just want people to take away that Cincinnati's not like that, and we received so much love," Pat Jude said.

Police said a disgruntled former tenant, Samuel Whitt, was responsible for the vandalism. He was charged with felony breaking and entering and felony vandalism.

Whitt is due back in court March 15.