Car at East End shop hit with racist vandalism

Alaska State Troopers do not have any more information in a second case of racist graffiti to happen in an East End Road neighborhood over the past two months.

Last Friday, an unknown vandal targeted a car at a local auto repair business in the Homer community with racist messaging. In March, someone also spray painted racist words at Wasabi’s Bistro.

This time, it was at Dave’s Auto Repair just outside of town on East End Road near McClay Road. Dave Johnson said he noticed racist messages carved into the glass windows on a 1990s white Ford Bronco around 9 a.m. Friday morning, April 26, and called the Alaska State Troopers. Johnson said a metal file was disturbed when he checked his shop.

Dave’s Auto Repair is in the same area around Miles 4 and 5 East End Road where Wasabi’s is located.

Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters said troopers seek information on the incident.

“Any information the community has, they have knowledge about, who’s involved — tips would be welcome,” she said.

People can call the Kenai Peninsula Alaska State Troopers dispatch number at 907-262-4453.

Johnson described the vandalism as being carved into the glass with some kind of sharp object or tool. On the driver’s side window, there is a message about O.J. Simpson, the former NFL player who was found not guilty in the murder of his ex wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, in 1995 in Los Angeles.

When, early in the case Simpson was evading the police after being charged with the murder of his wife and Ronald Goldman, Simpson rode down a Los Angeles freeway in a 1993 white Ford Bronco owned and driven by a friend, Al Cowlings. The slow-speed police chase was broadcast on TV.

The white Bronco at Johnson’s shop is similar in color, make and model to the Simpson vehicle.

On the back window of the vehicle parked at his shop, Johnson said the vandal scrawled the N-word in all capital letters. The messages are misspelled, Johnson said.

Johnson, who was born in Southeast India, grew up in Homer and graduated from school in the area.

“I hope they didn’t target me because that would be really absurd,” he said.

The vehicle that was damaged belongs to one of Johnson’s customers. Johnson said he’s not sure what will happen in terms of repairing the damage. He has both renters insurance and insurance for his business, but he’s not sure what the insurance company will say when he calls them.

Johnson said he doesn’t think the incident was related to his being a small business owner in town — he doesn’t have problems with anyone that he knows of.

His next steps will be to find out from the insurance company what steps he needs to take to get the Bronco repaired, and to find out what his customer wants to do, he said.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

Dave’s Auto Repair, shown here on Friday, April 26, 2019, just outside Homer, Alaska, was targeted with racist vandalism. Owner Dave Johnson discovered the vandalism Friday morning. (Photo courtesy Dave Johnson)

Dave’s Auto Repair, shown here on Friday, April 26, 2019, just outside Homer, Alaska, was targeted with racist vandalism. Owner Dave Johnson discovered the vandalism Friday morning. (Photo courtesy Dave Johnson)

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