SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–A teenage vandal is apologizing for his role in victimizing a Springfield woman’s home and car in March.
Shemeka Mitchell had a swastika painted on her front door along with damage to her car.
She tells KOLR10 that one of the people involved met with her face to face to offer an apology for his actions.
The apology took place on Saturday and Shemeka says that she believes it was heartfelt, but she wishes the teen would have honored his word by also apologizing publicly.
Seated at a table inside Burger King was what one might call a Come-to-Jesus meeting. It was an encounter of a teenage boy facing the victim of his crime for the first time to offer an apology,
“I feel his heart was in the right place and his intentions were good,” says Shemeka Mitchell, the victim of vandalism.
Mitchell sat across from the vandal as she heard him confess to his role in damaging her car while others tagged her front door with a swastika.
“He said he didn’t have a reason for it and he apologized for doing it. He did say he felt good when he did it, that rush that you get, the adrenaline rush, he said he felt that,” says Mitchell.
According to Shemeka, the teen along with two other vandals goes to high school with her 17-year-old son.
“He said that the intention was to prank a friend, but two of the other people got out of control and did stuff that they didn’t think were okay. There was no reason for it, they had no problem with my son or anything. He even said that they were friends so I don’t know why,” says Mitchell.
What she does know is that a prank leaving her car with a busted windshield and painted swastika on her house isn’t funny and believes it has a deeper meaning.
“I thought it was intentional, intimidation. You’re going to paint a swastika on a black kid’s house and he’s supposed to be your friend, everybody knows what that means,” says Mitchell.
It’s the nature of the crime why Jed Fisher of the Arzee Zebra Project has stepped in to offer Shemeka support along with asking the teen to follow through with a public apology.
“This group of kids owes the community, the city of Springfield, since it was a fellow student that went to this high school, they owe the high school an apology and that’s all I really want to see, that’s all that Shemeka really wants to see is for them to stand up and take accountability,” says Fisher.
“We were talking about having him donate it to a charity a couple of charities since my car’s already fixed, somebody paid for it so he could donate to someone else,” says Mitchell.
The teen who apologized to Shemeka originally agreed to do so publicly on camera, but at the last minute, his attorney advised him not to.
Police are still investigating this case so no one has been charged with a crime.