Middleburg Heights family plagued by rash of hate crimes

Updated: Jun. 25, 2018 at 8:26 PM EDT
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MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - One local family says they have been the target of racially-motivated hate crimes, they say have been going on for way too long.

"We want to live like the neighbors live. We want to live like everybody else is allowed to live here," said Middleburg Heights resident Dawn Berry.

But that's been nearly an impossible task since Dawn and Carlos Berry Moved into their Paula Drive home seven years ago.

"Normally, we'll take a big hit like a break in and then it slows down. It doesn't go away, but it'll slow down," said Dawn.

But Dawn says since March, these occurrences have been happening on more of a frequent basis.

Aside from the blatant racism literally written on the walls, someone broke in and destroyed most of their belongings.

A wooden cross was burned and left on their lawn.

A sock monkey was hung from a tree in front of their home.

Someone torched the only family vehicle they own and even broke in assaulting Dawn in the middle of the afternoon.

The family even has security cameras outside of their home, but they always end up broken.

"We've been told 'You're not wanted here, get out of our city' from the markings on the houses and the things they've done in here multiple times and they're letting us know again," said Dawn.

Yet the Berry family doesn't want to leave. The two have five children living at the home as well.

"We're pretty much a close family. We don't really bother anyone. We worked so hard to get to this point," said Dawn.

The Berry's have documented everything, filing multiple police reports about the incident but Middleburg Heights police chief, Ed Tomba says a "lack of cooperation" is to blame for the cases never being solved.

"We've actually asked for some forensic evidence, some DNA from the family and if we get that it'll get us closer to finding out exactly what happened," said Chief Tomba.

However the couple is reluctant to do so because they say the Middleburg Height's police department isn't exactly trustworthy.

"I'm not going to subject my family to go up there and give fingerprints and DNA for them to place that somewhere else," said Carlos Berry.

Regardless, the family is hoping for change and peace.

"We want to stay in our home and just be left alone," concluded Dawn.

Cleveland 19 also confirmed that current mayor, Gary W. Starr, lived next to the couple for several years as well.

If you'd like to lend a helping hand to the Berry family during this difficult time, you can click here. 

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