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Arlington Police Say Graffiti Case May Be A Hate Crime

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Police say they suspect a hate crime in a North Texas neighborhood where racial slurs and derogatory images were spray-painted on garages and cars.

Arlington police say one underage girl, a 17-year-old boy and two 18-year-old men have turned themselves in or been taken into custody. The fifth suspect is expected to surrender to authorities.

Police say one victim was intentionally targeted because of sexual orientation in the incident earlier this month.

Police say the suspects face a graffiti charge, which is a state jail felony.

But Arlington police are exploring whether the case can be prosecuted under the Texas hate crime statute, which would make it a third-degree felony.

The crime also will be reported as a hate crime to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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