An interracial couple, who yesterday found
out a man was arrested in connection with racist graffiti scrawled on
their Newmarket home, say they have given up their home because of the
Although they are relieved someone has been arrested, they made the
"mistake" of selling their home last week after more threats were mailed
to the Hodgson Drive address, Rita Brown and her partner, Seun Oyinsan,
said this morning.
"We got a letter saying someone was planning remote control explosives
and to kiss my kids goodnight," she said. "That was enough for us and we
sold our home."
Only yesterday, the couple found out a man Rita described as her ex-boyfriend had been arrested by police.
"To say I was shocked is an understatement," she said. "I was just talking to him and trying to help him out last week.
Now, the couple is left searching for a new house in which to live.
"We have huge regrets over the sale of our home. We lost $30,000 on the deal," Ms Brown said.
"We plan on staying in Newmarket, but I think we are going to rent for a while."
Between September 2011 and January, a mixed-raced couple had racist
words and symbols spray-painted on their home and vehicles. Police
confirmed the man had been involved in an earlier relationship with the
“I always felt it was an isolated incident and that it did not reflect
the way our community embraces our diversity,” Newmarket Mayor Tony Van
He appreciates the hard work of the police as well as their commitment, from the onset, to solving the crime.
Although many residents and those following the story from beyond the
town’s borders were appalled with the act when it came to light, there
is a silver lining.
“On a positive note, this incident actually helped the surrounding
neighbourhood rally together as many felt this was not how they wanted
their neighbourhood identified,” Mr. Van Bynen said. “Many of the
residents had lived there for years and were saddened to see their
neighbourhood identified because of this incident.”
It was the catalyst for the formation of the Newmarket Cares community
group that has worked to get support for the victims of this crime.
“Newmarket is an inclusive community in which we pride ourselves on
being accepting of others and celebrating cultural harmony, heritage and
ethnic diversity,” he said,
Four separate reports of property damage or threats involving hateful language were made to police.
Police identified a suspect and a man was arrested Monday.
A 63-year-old Bradford man is charged with two counts of mischief, uttering threats and criminal harassment.
He was released and is to be back in a Newmarket court in March.
York Regional Police also consider the episode to be an isolated incident, Const. Rebecca Boyd said.
The Newmarket Crown attorney’s office will consider the legal definition
of hate crime as this case proceeds through the courts, police said.
Ms Brown plans to speak with police about what to do with the camera
that was donated to her by the Newmarket Cares community group.
"I plan on donating it to whoever needs it," she said.