Mean-spirited prank cuts deep for high school student and family

Mean-spirited prank cuts deep for high school student and family

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Words like "get out", "go back" and "build a wall" were written on a 17-year-old's car.

The powerful vernacular struck not only the high school senior, but his family and community as well.

Despite the hateful action, the teen decided not to file a police report after discovering the words that took him by surprise.

"It's a pretty safe place here," said Julio Mata, a 17-year-old living in Walbridge. "I never thought that someone would come into my neighborhood
and I guess attack me for what my heritage is and what my ethnicity is."

While Julio's car is clean now the hurtful words written on his windows just days ago still ring loud in several minds.

"That mama bear instinct, I wanted to find out who did it and I wanted to yell at them and I wanted to yell at their parents," said Kellie Bennett, Julio's mom.

Julio was leaving his house to serve at his church Sunday when he found powerful words written on his car with window paint. Words aimed against Julio's ethnicity. While he is half Mexican, he and his family were born in the United States.

"I felt upset for whoever felt that way towards me because I mean they have no reason to," said Julio Mata. "I mean I'm a human just like they are and for them to feel such a hatred towards me it, it just kind of breaks my heart a little bit."

But Julio's response to the pointed words written on his car?

"His reaction was I'm just going to go pray for them," said Bennett.

Julio and his family discussed what they believe to be a mean-spirited prank. While they still don't know who wrote on the car Julio decided he didn't want to file a police report.

"It probably was a kid thinking it was a joke or was funny," explained Kellie Bennett. "Obviously, it wasn't. We didn't take it as a joke, but he (Julio) didn't want to get anyone in trouble, once again speaking of his character he was more worried about the other person."

"I think that whoever did it will see the effect that it had on not only me and my family, but also other people that saw it," explained Julio Mata. "They don't even really have to apologize, but for them just to learn their lesson and just to see that this isn't something to joke about especially with what's going on now today. It's just not so much of a joke anymore, but people actually take this seriously."

Julio says he's feeling the support of his community and wants to move on from those hateful words written on his car.

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