Editor's note: This story was updated at 5:40 p.m. Friday with comments from police spokesman Dustin Bowman and City Commissioner Katrisha Waldridge. The story contains a Facebook post, published by the victim of the racial slur, that includes a photo containing racially insensitive language.
Frankfort police have charged a man in connection with racially motivated vandalism last month in the parking lot of Kroger on Frankfort's west side.
Richard Beeler, of Frankfort, is charged with criminal mischief third degree. FPD Capt. Dustin Bowman said that “although the charge itself doesn’t read ‘hate crime,’ the charge was documented as a biased crime based on race.”
On Sept. 20, police took a report of criminal mischief that had occurred the day before in the Kroger parking lot on U.S. 127. A racial obscenity was written on the 2004 Lexus of a black family.
“Through investigation and review of the surveillance video, the Frankfort Police Department was able to identify Richard Beeler of Frankfort as the suspect and obtained an arrest warrant from the Franklin County District Court,” police said Friday morning in a news release.
City Commissioner Katrisha Waldridge, who asked Police Chief Charles Adams to get involved after she learned of the incident on social media, said Friday that “hate crimes have a devastating effect on the victims and those related and the community as a whole.”
“It was intended to demean and brutalize and break down that particular individual, and when it affects an individual in our community, it affects the whole community and we will not let that one cowardly person divide us as a city,” Waldridge said.
Praising Adams’ swift response to the incident, she added, “I think that shows our community, how fast we were on it, how fast we got it done, and had an answer of how much we truly care and we will not tolerate such hate crime in our community from any one of our residents.”
Beeler was arrested Monday.