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Eugene residents victims of hate crime

Ron Visconti and his wife, Ashleigh, first discovered a noose placed on top of their trash can on Saturday morning.

Posted: Feb 17, 2021 8:09 PM
Updated: Feb 17, 2021 8:50 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A Eugene resident was targeted with two separate hate crime incidents this week.

Ron Visconti and his wife, Ashleigh, first discovered a noose placed on top of their trash can on Saturday morning. They immediately reported the incident to the authorities without putting much further thought into it.

On Monday morning, as Visconti went to grab one of his daughter’s toys from the family vehicle, he realized the car had been spray painted with a racial slur. He said this wasn’t the first time he has dealt with racial discrimination since he moved to Oregon about three years ago, but it was the first time he felt his family’s well-being was in jeopardy as a result of it.

“The pain I felt, it was just overwhelming like how, why is this going on still? Why is this happening?” Visconti said.

The couple moved into their neighborhood near River Road just over a year ago, and they said the neighbors have been nothing but helpful since they arrived.

“We have a beautiful neighborhood and have amazing neighbors that have shown us more love than I can imagine,” Visconti said.

Ashleigh Visconti said beyond seeing her husband go through this ordeal, the hardest part of the situation was having to discuss the harsh reality of racial discrimination with their 4-year-old daughter.

“I had to sit her down and tell her somebody painted Daddy’s car because they didn't like the color of his skin. And that was really heartbreaking,” she said.

The car will likely have to be repainted, and the Viscontis organized a GoFundMe to help cover some of the costs of the damage. They said they’ve already surpassed the fund limit they set and plan to donate the extra money to organizations that bring awareness to racism and inequality.

The two emphasized the idea that all parents should teach their children how to love everyone regardless of the color of their skin.

The Lane County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating the incident, but without the proper camera and surveillance equipment in place, the Viscontis said they think it’s unlikely the suspect will ever be caught.

Moving forward, the family and the surrounding residents will be deploying more home defense tools to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

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