‘Bad guys, go away’: 4-year-old leaves note for vandals after family’s home marked with anti-Asian messages

Updated: Apr. 26, 2021 at 6:15 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A man who served his country wants to know why anyone would target his family with hate messages. On top of that, he wants to know why Louisville Metro Police Department officers didn’t come out to his home to look into who vandalized his home with anti-Asian messages.

Graffiti was spray-painted at Todd Blankenship’s Prospect home on April 24.

“I’m a six-foot-one, 250-pound marine,” Blankenship said. “Not many people have the gall to say something to my face.”

Blankenship is married with three young children. Saturday, he left town for a business trip. He was shocked when his wife sent him pictures of what was spray-painted on their home.

“Someone put go home ch**kkk on our front door,” Blankenship said. “They spelled ch**k intentionally with three k’s in it. On the right side of the door, they spray-painted Chicom and put a circle and slash through it.”

Chicom is defined as a disparaging, contemptuous term used to refer to a Communist Chinese. It can also mean a grenade or other weapon manufactured in Communist China.

The hate message puzzled his wife.

“I feel stunned,” Sasiwan Onphukhao, Blankenship’s wife, said. “I did not hurt anyone over here. Why they hate us?”

“She laughed and said, ‘I’m not Chinese.’ It boggled her mind that the person who spray-painted racist stuff on our door couldn’t get her nationality right,” Blankenship said. “She’s Thai American.”

Blankenship’s wife said in the four years she’s been in the United States, she’s never had any problems. However, she said there has been a surge in reports of hate crimes against Asians across the country, especially since the pandemic.

Blankenship said maintenance staff at his apartment complex called LMPD and so did one of his friends twice since he was out of town. But Blankenship said he’s disappointed in LMPD’s lack of in-person response.

“LMPD refused to come, they said it’s not their policy to send someone out for graffiti,” Blankenship said. “I feel like all this city has been through with Breonna Taylor and the nation watching this George Floyd trial, that Louisville PD is still just tone-deaf when it comes to this stuff.”

What broke Blankenship’s heart was explaining it all to his four-year-old daughter.

“Why people hated her because she had different color skin, she doesn’t comprehend that,” Blankenship said.

But how his daughter responded moved him. She wrote a message on a piece of paper.

“She said, ‘Bad guys, go away,’” Blankenship said. “She stuck it on the table on our porch. This morning when nothing happened, I said ‘Are you okay? Do you feel safe?’ And she said, ‘Yeah, the bad guys didn’t come back because they saw my note on the porch.’ She believes the power of her heart stopped the bad people from coming to our house. That’s amazing to me.”

Blankenship said he’s also touched by friends, neighbors, and fellow marines who checked on his family.

WAVE 3 News contacted LMPD regarding the incident, and it was confirmed that a police report was taken over the phone by their Telephone Reporting Unit when the apartment maintenance staff called. Officers are investigating who sprayed the messages.

Anyone with information on who vandalized Blankenships’ home can contact the LMPD Anonymous Tip Line at (502) 574-LMPD.

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