Anti-Christian graffiti painted on family's home

Anti-Christian graffiti painted on family's home »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A family's front yard holiday decorations were defaced with graffiti, but it gets worse. The family says this is not just vandalism – they think it's a hate crime.

"It's disgusting, hurtful, a slap in the face to our religion," Jimmie Cannon told Eyewitness News on Tuesday.

It happened at her father's house in Oildale, near 7th Standard Road and Airport Drive.

The graffiti sprayed on the garage door is the numbers "666" and an upside-down cross.

Her father has a large Christian display on the walkway and the front yard.

"It's a 'Happy Birthday, Jesus' sign, and John 3:16 above the door frame," Cannon described. Both are homemade and light up. They are near the graffiti.

Other holiday decorations are across the lawn, plus a Nativity scene. Nothing else was vandalized, and Cannon said they're grateful for that.

The quiet neighborhood has other homes with holiday decorations, and no others were seen with graffiti.

The Cannon home has a good surveillance system, and it captured video of two people in a car just before 1 a.m. Tuesday. The two are seen across the street, and they appear to spray paint near the corner.

On Tuesday, the family said a neighbor had already tried to power-wash what appeared to be initials on the sidewalk. But, the name "tim" could still be seen in black paint on the street.

In the surveillance video, the car is then seen pulling around and parking in front of the Cannon driveway.

Jimmie Cannon said a person jumped over their fence. No camera angle picked up the movement, then in front of the garage, but Cannon said that's when the graffiti was sprayed on.

The car drove away, and it appeared to be a four-door compact and probably red or orange.

A couple blocks away, neighbor Amy Pearson said she'd seen photos of the graffiti on a Neighborhood Watch Facebook page.

"This is Christmas time, and we're supposed to love each other," Pearson told Eyewitness News. "This was religious symbols that were on their garage. It's definitely hate, it's not just vandalism."

That's what the Cannon family thinks, too. Jimmie Cannon said she called the sheriff's department to ask for an investigation but was told the incident was only a misdemeanor.

But, Cannon said she called back a second time and was told a deputy would come out to take a report.

A sheriff's department spokesman told Eyewitness News that he can't comment on the incident until a report is in their system.

Asked whether this could be investigated as a hate crime, the spokesman said that would likely be up to the district attorney's office if a case is forwarded to it.

The Cannon family wants the suspects found, and they want action.

"This needs to be taken care of," Jimmie Cannon said. "We need to let people know that, yes, they can slap us in the face for our religion, but we will still stand tall."