Warren — Candace Hall says she is praying for the 24-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of vandalizing her home and terrorizing her family in early September.
Hall, who is Black, said she has no hate in her heart for the suspect, a white man from her neighborhood who police say threw a rock through her front window, shot at the family’s home and vandalized their cars by slashing tires and writing racial threats on the vehicles.
The incidents took place on the nights of Sept. 7-9 at the home Hall shares with her husband, Eddie Hall.
“I’m going to pray for him and that family … I forgive him but justice needs to be served,” she said at a Wednesday news conference at Warren police headquarters. “Justice has to be done, he has to pay the cost for what he did but I do feel sorry for his parents.”
An investigation that involved 25 police officers ended Tuesday evening when police arrested the man.
The 24-year-old, who was not identified by police at the news conference, is to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Thursday in 37th District Court on charges that include three counts of ethnic intimidation, malicious destruction of a building, destruction of property, felony firearm, and discharge of a weapon at a building.
“Our hope is to quickly bring closure to this matter; the victims, the Halls, and let everyone know that hate crimes such as these will not be tolerated in the city of Warren,” said Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer.
Police also suspect the man was involved in a separate September incident on Tom Allen Street in which the garage door of a home with signs for presidential candidate Joe Biden was vandalized with the word “pedofile” written on it and a window was damaged with a rock.
Dwyer said the suspect had a previous arrest for malicious destruction of property that was unrelated to the recent events.
During a search of the suspect’s home, police found a mask, shoes and clothes they believe were worn by the person who attacked the Halls’ home.
Police received several tips and worked with the FBI to set up cameras in the area. Confidential information was given to the police that led to the arrest, Dwyer said.
“They got the bad guy,” Warren Mayor James Fouts said. “That guy in this case was a racist terrorist. The city of Warren does not tolerate racism, they don’t tolerate terrorism.”
Hall believes the family’s home may have been targeted because of a Black Lives Matter sign she displayed in a window.
Since the incidents, the family has received an outpouring of support from neighbors and people from miles away as well.
Hall said a man from Warren who now lives in Florida sent a letter expressing his support. Another person carved the U.S. flag out of wood and sent it to Hall’s husband.
And though the couple feel like a burden has been lifted off their shoulders after the arrest, their 16-year-old daughter is still struggling to get back to normal.
“You may not believe what I believe but you went way too far,” Hall said of the suspect. “We put the sign in there just to say we matter too. The Constitution says ‘all’ and we want to be a part of that all and that’s the only reason we put the sign in our window.”