HAZLETON -- A business owner in Hazleton is sending a strong message to whoever vandalized his newly opened auto repair shop by spray painting a warning next the graffiti that was left behind.
So owner Donnie Tolerico responded by spray painting a warning right next to it.
He says he wants whoever did this to know he’s willing to defend his property at all costs.
“This is not me threatening anyone. This is simply me saying that this wasn’t kids. This was gangs. I’m taking it seriously. If they come back around, my first response is going to be to take it seriously,” said Tolerico.
Tolerico says it’s not just his business being hit with graffiti.
There is a playground across the street where the children at the Arthur Street Elementary School play.
Tolerico admits what he did is extreme, but says he worked hard to open his garage.
He says seeing that graffiti pushed him to his limit and feels it won’t stop unless he took a hard stand.
“I understand that it might be a risk, but I think if people back me up and do the same thing. maybe they’ll get the message and they’ll leave,” said Tolerico.
Louis Tokash was out taking pictures of the graffiti.
He says he’s just as frustrated as Tolerico.
“It’s a shame for these kids to have to look at this every day in and day out,” said Tokash. “I am fed up with it also, and I hope more people get fed up with it and finally something gets done about it.”
Hazleton police said they don’t encourage residents to leave messages such as the one Tolerico left.
Tolerico says he going to paint over the graffiti and his message.