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Nassau police investigate possible hate crime in Baldwin

A resident reported that she found her tire and rim were damaged and a note was placed on her car that said "go home."  

A tire was punctured and this note was

A tire was punctured and this note was found on Adwoa Lewis' car early Sunday in Baldwin. Photo Credit: William Lewis

Nassau police are investigating a weekend incident in Baldwin as a possible hate crime, a spokesman for the department said Sunday. 

Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun said Adwoa Lewis, 19, of Baldwin, told investigators that a group of teenagers shouted "Trump will make America great again" as she drove her 2008 Toyota Prius on Jackson Street late Saturday. 

Lewis parked the car in front of her home, police said, and as she drove to work early Sunday, she realized one of the tires on the vehicle was damaged. She returned home and saw that the tire was flat and the rim was damaged.

Lewis' father, William Lewis, said a note placed on the Prius said "go home."

Lewis was born in the United States, her father said. William Lewis said he is an immigrant from Grenada who has lived in the United States for 30 years and in Baldwin for 18 years. He blamed President Donald Trump for fostering an increase in anti-immigrant rhetoric. 

"I am disappointed. You hear about things like this, but you don't believe it will happen to you," he said. "People feel emboldened to say things they would not normally say because of his behavior." 

LeBrun said the incident is being investigated. 

"The Nassau County Police Department has zero tolerance for any individuals who create any kind of bias towards another," LeBrun said. "The detectives from the First Precinct Squad are investigating and this will be given top priority as all bias crimes are in Nassau County." 

Correction: Adwoa Lewis is 19 years old. Due to incorrect information provided by police, the age was incorrect in an earlier version of this story.

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