Kentucky couple receives racist letters, bullets in mail months after neighbor allegedly painted swastika on their driveway

Emma Austin, Louisville Courier Journal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A couple, whose home has been repeatedly vandalized with racist slurs over the past several months, have now received threatening letters and bullets in their mail, their attorney says.

Michela and Connie Pineda, a married couple with five children who live in Louisville, reported to police in June racist slurs and swastikas had been painted on their driveway three separate times.

Video surveillance from neighbors and the couple’s own house showed their neighbor Suzanne Craft coming onto their property and spray painting the messages before returning to her own home, according to court records.

Craft, 52, was charged with three counts of criminal mischief and three counts of harassing communications, according to a citation.

Now, four months later, the Pinedas' property has been vandalized again. They have surveillance footage of what appears to be the same neighbor placing items on their lawn and pouring cat litter into their fountain, their attorney, Vanessa Cantley, told The Courier Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network.

They also have received multiple anonymous letters with racist slurs and bullets in the mail, Cantley said.

"This has gone beyond just defacing property, which was bad enough," Cantley said. "She also threatened their child on a bicycle this past summer and threatened to run her over."

Craft received a no-contact order at a July arraignment following her initial charges and in late August was found guilty of being in contempt of the court, which Cantley said was for breaking the no-contact order.

Craft was sentenced to seven days in jail and seven days on house arrest for the contempt charges, according to court records.

In a lawsuit filed against Craft and the subdivision's homeowners association, the Pinedas say Craft repeatedly confronted them outside their home beginning a few months after they moved to the area in 2019, using racist slurs against them and their children.

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Craft's daughter, a minor, also began using racist slurs against the family, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit also says Craft poured chemicals onto their lawn one of the nights she painted a racial slur and a swastika on their driveway.

Cantley said she is in contact with LMPD and prosecutors to get another contempt motion on the docket and address the situation as soon as possible.

Craft is scheduled to appear in court for a hearing related to the ongoing case Dec. 16.

Follow Emma Austin on Twitter at @emmacaustin.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Kentucky couple gets bullets in mail months after swastika vandalism