Victim of burned garage says it's racially motivated

Victim of burned garage says it's racially motivated

MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - A Middletown woman said she's scared for her life after her garage was set on fire by a neighbor on the 1200 block of Woodside Blvd.

Jacqueline Moore has lived in her home for 17 years and said for the past few weeks her neighbors have been taunting her, which she believes it is racially motivated.

James Thompson is charged with arson connected to the fire on Woodside Blvd. along with Trevor Skief,19, and Wesley Hudgel, 19, who are charged with arson and intimidation.

They remain in the Middletown Jail.

"I ain't never been through anything like this in my life," Moore said.

The teens accused of causing the damage, also happen to be her neighbors. Investigators with the Middletown Fire Department said the teens stole a flare gun and shot it into the window of the garage.

Moore said the problems started long before the fire.

"I've been getting harassed. It's like three houses on the block. They all gather up on the porch next door. They sit out and call us names the N-word you know. Throwing beer bottles at me," she said.

Although it seems Moore was the target of last week's fire, it spread to three homes including Willnetta Bostics.

"It's more so scary than upsetting," she said.

Bostic said she would hear the neighbors using racial slurs towards African Americans often.

"The thought crossed my mind to move. Hopefully it's over with now and we don't have to deal with that anymore," she said.

Although several people have been arrested, Moore said the threats from her next door neighbor hasn't stopped.

"He pulled out a sword the other day threw it on his back and looked at me like you know," she said.

Moore's next door neighbor, James Culmo, said that he used to be friends with the teens arrested but he hasn't threatened Moore.

"We have a sword. It's her sword... and it's in the trunk and we do have a knife. It's in the house but we don't take it outside," he said.

He admits that he doesn't get along with Moore which stems from her telling his girlfriend to move her car. He said Moore has called him nasty names as well.

"There's nothing racial about saying anything to a white person, but if you say something to a black person it's illegal," Culmo said.

Moore said she is just hoping it all ends soon.

"I want to stay in my house. I'm not going to get run out of my house but it's scary you know. You can't sleep thinking what are they going to do next," she said.

The three teens are expected to be in court on Monday.

Moore has been summoned to testify during the pre-trial hearing.

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