Suspicious Home Fire

Fire line tape cordons off the charred remains home in Middletown, Ohio, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, where investigators are looking into suspicious fire. (AP Photo/The Journal-News, Lot Tan)

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) – Police in Middletown are investigating the distribution of racial fliers in the aftermath of an arson that heavily damaged a woman’s home.

The “White Guard” fliers stated that white people can band together against black criminals. The group described itself as a “pro-White neighborhood watch” and a response sent from an email address on the flier stated that it didn’t believe it was racist, The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reported Tuesday ( ).

Police in the southwest Ohio city said they’ve never heard of such a group.

“We’re concerned that someone is spreading these fliers that are racially motivated,” said Lt. Scott Reeve.

Local business owner Mike Soule said surveillance video showed a White man putting fliers on car windshields early Monday.

“They’re morons,” Soule said. “There’s no point to it, absolutely no point.”

Black resident Kimberly Carroll said the flier’s message was “very offensive and very racist.” She said it also was scary.

An early morning home fire one week ago followed a confrontation between the woman who lived there, who is white, and some neighborhood juveniles after ongoing conflicts.

The woman, Jennifer Chitwood, said the problem wasn’t race-related. She and her two children had left the home before the fire.

“It was bunch of teens not having good parents and not being respectful,” she said. “It wasn’t about Black or White.”

The local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People says it will work with Middletown detectives as they probe the “White Guard.”

Two teens were arrested last week, but charges were dropped against one after it was determined a witness had lied about his presence at the scene.


Information from: Journal-News ,

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