An Ohio woman is in fear of her life after she received a racist and threatening letter, and her truck was mysteriously torched.
Nicole Rhodes, 40, said she had been taunted by bigots in her Youngstown, Ohio, neighborhood for about three weeks, when she first saw a menacing note taped on her beauty salon.
“We don’t want you here black b—-,” it read. “Don’t get burnt up in there.”
Then on Monday, she watched in shock as her 2006 Ford pickup truck was engulfed in flames on the same property.
“This can’t be real. This just can’t be real,” Rhodes told the Daily News on Wednesday. “It just cannot be this serious. Black skin just can’t be this serious. Black skin just can’t make you go destroying property.”
Rhodes has owned the building for about three years, but she’s in the process of selling it and moving her business, Dynasty Salon, she said.
The emotional mother of four said she didn’t take the letter seriously at first until her truck was set on fire.
“I thought it was nothing. My neighbors are prejudiced,” she said. “I’m used to people hating me — but now it’s because of my skin. It’s the same kind of hatred.”
Following an investigation, Youngstown Fire Department Investigator Alvin Ware said someone had purposefully torched the vehicle, WKBN-27 reported.
“There’s something going on,” he told the local news station.
There have been no arrests or leads in the case yet.
Rhodes has put up 16 surveillance cameras on the property and been distancing herself from the community, she said.
“It has to be that serious,” she said.