Group Home Threatened With Violence, Arson
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 15, 2005
CHESTERFIELD, VIRGINIA--The operator of a group home for people with intellectual disabilities in Chesterfield has reported to police that they have received three letters threatening to harm his family and the residents if they do not move.
According to a recent story by WBBT-TV, Kimberly Pettus, who operates Inspiration House, claimed the unsigned letters were filled with racial slurs and threats of violence, arson and financial ruin. Pettus said the anonymous letters were also distributed to neighbors.
"The threats that come down is that they're going to burn down the home; that they're going to burn the people inside in order to cleanse them by fire; that that they're going to break my wife or my daughter's legs," Pettus said.
One of the letters reportedly asserts that "violence and force is what people understand -- think Columbine, Iraq, and Nazi Germany."
Police have no suspects. They have not yet turned the case over to federal investigators, WBBT noted.
Meanwhile, members of the Smoke Tree Neighborhood Association, which includes the group home's subdivision, have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to force the group home out of the neighborhood.
The harassing letters and pressure from neighbors began after August 1, when one resident walked into two neighboring homes, grabbed a woman's leg and put it on his crotch.
Pettus said no charges were filed in the incident and the man no longer lives at the home.
County officials have explained to neighbors that federal law protects group home residents.
"Neighbors in Chesterfield fight group home" (WWBT-TV)