Veteran's home vandalized, torched
PLANT CITY (FOX 13) - There are lots of questions surrounding a fire that gutted a home on Johnson Street in Plant City overnight.
Along with heavy damage, anti-Trump graffiti was sprayed on the house, inside and out. The family who lives there was spending the night with relatives, but Navy veteran Matthew Smith says his home was targeted because he is a Donald Trump supporter.
"It's not what I expected out of America," says Smith. "It should be us figuring problems out together."
Smith flies three flags in front of his house: the American flag, the POW flag, and the Navy flag.
"We supported Trump from when he started running for office," says Matthew's wife Brittany. "We never made it public. We never had a sign in our backyard, so no one really knew we were pro Trump."
But Matthew says he's been very active on Facebook, with posts supporting Trump, the Second Amendment, and other conservative causes.
Investigators are looking into possible connections with arsonists.
Earlier this month, anti-Trump graffiti was sprayed on two mobile homes near Mango. Investigators say someone tried to light one of them on fire.
The Smiths, who have two young children, say times have been hard recently. They say their home is in foreclosure and they have no insurance to cover the belongings that burned. Brittany says it doesn't make sense to her.
"We were always nice to everyone," she said. "It's very odd, very odd."
She added, they were lucky they were away when their home burned. Otherwise, the message someone sent could have been deadly.