Knox Co deputies investigating harassment, intimidation of Asian

Knox Co deputies investigating harassment, intimidation of Asian family

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"One night we heard a big noise, it was from the back side, and it burned the yard," she said of an incident in December. "One night we heard a big noise, it was from the back side, and it burned the yard," she said of an incident in December.
They feel the attacks are because of their race including when the suspects put real estate signs in their yard, and an X on their door. They feel the attacks are because of their race including when the suspects put real estate signs in their yard, and an X on their door.
On multiple occasions the Shens have had to scrape eggs from their home but the incidents have increased and become more serious. On multiple occasions the Shens have had to scrape eggs from their home but the incidents have increased and become more serious.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – For two years a family in West Knoxville says they've been the target of vandalism, they believe, because of their race.

The Shen family has had dozens of incidents at their home in the Roefield community.

They've lived in the neighborhood for 15 years but the incidents began two years ago,  starting off innocent enough with someone repeatedly knocking on the door, ringing the doorbell late at night, but then the disturbance's escalated to fire crackers being set off on their porch and eggs being thrown at their home.

"We still have a mark because we can't reach them," Susan Shen explained, pointing to marks on the side of her home where eggs have stained the siding.

On multiple occasions the Shens have had to scrape eggs from their home but the incidents have increased and become more serious.

"One night we heard a big noise, it was from the back side, and it burned the yard," she said of an incident in December.

They found a water bottle filled with a chemical solution that exploded in their yard. They believe the suspects are targeting them.

"For me I feel like they're absolutely targeting us and its disturbing, it doesn't make us feel good,"  she said.

The Shens believe the suspects are teenagers from a nearby neighborhood, but say the acts of vandalism have gone well past a normal teenage prank.

"Throwing toilet paper or ringing door bells, that's culture but if you throw eggs or bottle bomb, that's criminal," Shen said.

They feel the attacks are because of their race including when the suspects put real estate signs in their yard, and an X on their door.

"They're telling me ok you should move out and when they put the red tape that tells me it's a hate crime," she said.

The family installed a security camera but hasn't caught the teens on tape. Now the neighborhood association has warned others to be on the lookout even if it is local teens.

"It doesn't excuse the fact that we don't want this type of activity taking place in our neighborhood no matter who's doing it," said Travers Hurst with the neighborhood homeowners association.

The sheriff's department says they don't have any suspects but hopes someone will come forward.

"Hopefully with the neighbors paying more attention we can stop the vandalism," Hurst said.

The HOA says this is very unusual for the community.

The Shen's are not the only Asian family in this neighborhood, and they don't know why they are the only ones being targeted, but whatever the reason they want it to stop.

Anyone with information about the intimidation and harassment of the family is urged to contact the Knox County sheriff's office at 865-215-2243.

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