The New Milford community rallied together in a show of support Wednesday to help local restaurant owners after someone painted a racial slur and a swastika on their building.
Senka Thompson, who owns Thompson’s Fine American Comfort Food on Kent Road with her husband, told NBC Connecticut that they found the vandalism at their restaurant when they arrived to open for business Wednesday morning.
“While we are saddened and very surprised by the hate, we are encouraged by those who support us and understand that racism hurts everyone. It is not representative of the values of our town or our country. We hope that all who disagree with this ideology will stand with us to speak out against it,” the couple wrote in a statement on their Facebook page.
The community reacted to the news with a show of support.
When Senka Thompson started cleaning up the graffiti Wednesday, a group of people showed up to help her scrape it all off.
New Milford Mayor David Gronbach denounced the act in a strongly worded statement.
“I am disgusted that the hatred we have been reading about nationally has appeared in New Milford with the racial epithet and swastika painted at Thompson’s Restaurant. In the wake of Charlottesville, I posted, “Hate Has No Home Here”. This statement in opposition reflected my stand against people and ideologies that would denigrate any person or population. Today we know that there are people in our Community that hate based on skin color or ethnicity or religion. They are proud of their prejudice and want others to fear it; to be intimidated by it; to have it normalized. I am here to say that while hate may live in the hearts of some in our Community, we give it no shelter and no safe harbor. I call on New Milford to come together to not only denounce this expression of hate, but to beat it back into the furthest recesses of the twisted heart that harbors it,” he wrote in part.
New Milford police said they were called out around 7:30 a.m. and ask anyone with information to call Detective Thomen at 860-355-3133.