ENGLEWOOD, Fla. - An Englewood man tells WINK News he's dealing with thousands of dollars of damage after someone trashed his home. This week, he found the home on Bayshore Drive filled with trash, drawings of swastikas, broken glass and even more damage.
"I said are you kidding me? Swastikas in this time and age? It's ridiculous," homeowner Bob O'Toole said.
O'Toole put his heart and soul into restoring the home. "I built this home," he said.
To see it in this state, "It's the ugliness of humanity. It makes me very sad."
O'Toole told investigators he's certain a former tenant did it. The tenant asked to break the lease. O'Toole said that man would have to pay until he found a new renter. When the check didn't arrive, he stopped by to find an expensive mess. "There was writing on the walls," O'Toole said. "I found it kind of disturbing with the pink lipstick, whatever it was, 'white power' and graffiti."
That wasn't all. He came back with a contractor to get an estimate and found even worse damage.
"They stole my weedwacker, they put holes into the wall, they broke the windows, the doors, some other windows, they tossed the trash all over the kitchen, they sprayed the walls with some kind of liquid, they ruined my hardwood floors," O'Toole said. "I'm Asian and I take offense, somebody putting swastikas and white power in there. I've been discriminated against before and I thought Englewood wouldn't have this."
Sarasota County Forensic Investigators are studying any prints left behind. But without a renter, O'Toole says he can't pay the mortgage, let alone a lawyer, and now, is at risk of foreclosure.
"Now, it's on us to prove the they did it," O'Toole's girlfriend Iris Beaugrand said. "You can do background checks but this guy seemed to be able to afford it, seemed nice, but you never know until the end what you get."
Florida landlords can charge you for any damage beyond the typical wear and tear. That usually comes out of your security deposit. In this case, O'Toole did not charge a security deposit.
The Sheriff's Office is still investigating who did this. But, given the circumstances, O'Toole believes it wasn't random and he was personally targeted.