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Florida Homeowner’s Hitler Graffiti Rattles Neighbors

INDIAN HARBOR BEACH, Fla. - A frustrated homeowner took to spray-painting graffiti with a Hitler reference on her own house to address an escalating tiff with her homeowner's association, causing unrest Tuesday among neighbors in this quiet community of single-family homes.

"Hitler would be a welcome neighbor here. Stop the harassment to my family," said the message in large red letters on the walls of the home.

Sheila Jones, the 45-year-old homeowner, said she wrote the graffiti because "I am tired of being harassed by the homeowner's association."

Jones claimed Tuesday afternoon that she had been mocked by her neighbors and humiliated at meetings, all because she failed to pay the $120 monthly homeowner's association fee.

"If I could afford to pay for it, I would," she said. "I probably owe about $2,000. When you don't have the money, what do you do?" Jones said her family was trying to avoid foreclosure of the property. "We are trying to work with the bank," she said.

The message prompted members of Townhouse Estates Homeowner's Association to call Indian Harbour Beach police.

"I just wish they would have left out the Hitler (reference)," said Police Chief Bobby Sullivan.

Sullivan said that if the owners spray-painted their own home, it may not be a criminal violation. But they could face action by the homeowners association.

Pat Cutright, who lives next door, said she was upset about the graffiti.

"They have defaced the paint on the outside, something they haven't paid for," Cutright, 77, said. "Anyway, it is downright offensive."

The property, listed under the names of Sheila and Arthur Jones, is valued at $117,000, according to the Brevard County Property Appraiser's office. There are no liens listed against the homeowners, records show.

Frank Lady, president of the association, raised concern about the spray-painted message with police.

"The graffiti that appears on the wall is the current concern. I don't know who did it but it's vandalism," Lady said. "Any painting that does not conform with current (by-laws) should get approval. But obviously, this is not the norm."

Lady said the homeowner's association will hold a regular meeting on Monday.

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