LOMPOC, Calif. - A Lompoc home has been vandalized with a homophobic slur but police said it was not what it appears to be.
The offensive word, beginning with the letter "f" is painted in bright red on the side of the house.
The homophobic slur is very difficult for Lompoc neighbors in the small townhome complex to witness when they drive by, but police have confirmed the vandalism is not a hate crime.
“It has nothing to be with people being mean or anything like that. It is not a hate crime. It's essentially completely unrelated to what people think,” said Lompoc Police Sergeant Jorge Magana.
The homophobic word on the house is accompanied by little fish symbols and crosses.
“It just brings tears to my eyes to think that someone would do that,” said a neighbor who lives next door to the house.
That someone who allegedly committed the offense, according to several next-door neighbors, is the woman who lives in the house. They, along with a family member we spoke with, say the owner suffers from mental illness.
“Someone like this, that's clearly got some issues needs some help. Some intervention needs to be made,” said neighbor Chad Sweis.
Neighbors also say this is not the first time something like this has taken place.
“About three weeks ago there was a similar incident where she spray-painted Jesus and a few other things on her wall,” said Sweis.
As photos of the vandalism circulate on social media residents have commented with outrage.
Some have offered to help clean the paint off the home.
Relatives of the homeowner told us that they are seeking professional help in hopes to intervene.
For anyone who has been affected by the words that are painted on the side of the house the Lompoc Pride Alliance is having a support group on Tuesday, November 19 at 4:00 p.m. at 101 South B Street.
It will be the group's first meeting.