Cross burning terrifies Arroyo Grande family

March 18, 2011


A mother is terrified after finding a cross burning outside her 19-year-old African American daughter’s bedroom window in Arroyo Grande at about 12:30 a.m. on Friday.

Hearing banging and fearing someone was breaking into her car, the daughter went out onto the porch to look around. When she saw no one, she went back into her bedroom, got into her bed and turned out the light.

A few moments later, directly in view of her bed, she saw an 11-foot cross fully engulfed in flames.

The family, which has lived in the area for 10 years, is not being named to protect their privacy.

The cross had been stolen from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Arroyo Grande on March 1. The cross, originally hand made for a production of Jesus Christ Superstar, was bolted down in the church parking lot before it was stolen.

Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Arroyo Grande Police Chief Steven Annibali personally went by the victims’ home providing his cell number for the victims to call, after 911, if another incident occurs.

Photo courtesy of KSBY




  1. Paperboys says:

    In the early 1980s I lived in Modesto and the KKK had a cross burning ceremony in an empty field outside Ceres (the next town over). My uncle and I drove out to see for ourselves.
    That cross must have been as tall as a telephone pole and you could see it burning from 2 miles away. I was scare sh*tless and I’m white.
    Burning a cross by the home of a black family is an act of terror and there’s no doubt it’s a hate crime. I hope the AGPD and the FBI can get to the bottom of this, because I agree with some of the people posting here, if this isn’t solved, it will leave a scar on the heart of this community.
    Whoever did this should be ashamed and I hope at least one of the people responsible comes to their senses and talks. Baring that, Crime Stoppers should put up a huge reward and maybe that will loosen tongues.
    Someone out there knows who did this and if their conscience doesn’t get to them, maybe a fat reward will. The truth must come out about this and the hate mongers among us must be made to understand that our community will not tolerate this kind of blatant racism.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  2. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    It amazies me how some posters get stuck on the drum beat that they are somehow above the rest of us average folks, because they chose to use their name. I, like many, have my reasons for hiding my name none of them for nefarious reasons, more that there are people out there that I just don’t want to know I am posting. PERIOD.

    Now that being said, lets also not get carried away thinking we know how everyone else thinks. My post in regards to lynching the guilty parties was in the broad sence of lets bring them to justice via the court system. Most people I thought would have enough intelligence to figure from the last comment of turn them in, that was the bigger part of what I was getting at.

    Again amazing how other’s preceive that they are better than the rest.

    (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
  3. rogerfreberg says:

    These public displays are meant to intimidate and motivate their followers…. one can only wonder how many followers this person actually has?

    The KKK was at its Zenith in the 1920’s, since then, it has been highly fragmented and at best loosely connected with other fringe groups. However, the image of the Klan does serve a purpose for small groups of people to find strength by rekindling perceived past glories. It is clear that this person is attempting to hide behind a largely gone-with-the-wind boogie man. Just for reference, it was more typical that whenever the fire was lit, the Klan would hang around in their garments. This obviously didn’t happen.

    What this person did was wrong and I hope this person is apprehended. I am also saying that one person can do a lot of damage… which is clear given what has transpired. So before you grab your pitchforks and charge off in your own hood of anonymity … give some pause to think how your behavior looks to others as you hide behind your posting alias.

    Roger Freberg

    (0) 12 Total Votes - 6 up - 6 down
    • Typoqueen says:

      IMO it’s okay for a single man but any woman or for that matter man with kids that doesn’t post anonymously is foolish. There’s a lot of nuts that read and post on these things, it’s not worth the risk. I wouldn’t socialize with those crazy people so certainly I don’t want them knowing who I am. I can think of a few people that post here and especially in the Trib that I wouldn’t want to meet on a dark night,,,although I don’t like you very much Roger, you are not one of them. Your ideas are crazy but I don’t believe that you are dangerous.

      Take your head out of the sand, the KKK and other white supremacist groups are alive and flourishing. Just because we live in this little slice of sheltered heaven here on the central coast dosn’t mean it’s not still running strong. David Duke did quite well for a white supremacist when he ran for Prez and that wasn’t that long ago. I remember that he had a lot of people backing him.

      (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
  4. seaweedsara says:

    I am so very sorry this happened. An atrocity. I pray law enforcement spends some quality time finding investigating and bringing to justice these group of KKK Skinheads or the like instead of pumping up their inflated egos with civil harassment of innocent members of their community. JohnnyLaw GO GET ‘EM !

    (3) 11 Total Votes - 7 up - 4 down

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