Racist graffiti at Spokane Valley coffee stand was inside job

Racist graffiti at Spokane Valley coffee stand was inside job

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A hate crime and attempted arson against two Korean sisters running a Spokane Valley coffee stand has turned out to be a hoax with one of the sisters the admitted culprit.

That woman, 23-year-old Jennifer Na, is the co-owner of Coffee Break along with her sister, and investigators say they’re not sure why she targeted her own business and that they may never know.

Na admitted she spray painted ‘Go back to China’ on the parking lot asphalt near their stand.

It didn’t take long for fire investigators to solve the attempted arson.

“Ultimately, Deputy Fire Marshal Clifton Mahaffey did an outstanding investigation, watched the surveillance video,” said Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Chamberlin.

That video showed Na carrying a gas can into the stand right before turning off the surveillance cameras.

“She admitted to the crime. As far as why, a lot of people want to know why, this case got national attention,” Chamberlin said.

On January 21 Na called police to report that someone had started a fire at her coffee stand and written ‘Go back to China’ with spray paint in the parking lot. That prompted police to look at the crime as a hate crime and Na’s sister Diana to talk to KXLY4 News about the incident.

“Just one person just kind of discouraged us, all this hard work that we’ve been putting into,” Diana Na said.

However when it was determined that her own sister was the culprit, Diana Na declined comment for this story Friday.

“This was an internal crime, it was not a hate crime and as far as why Miss Na committed this crime, like i said, I’m not sure if we’ll ever know that,” said Chamberlin.

Na, who has a criminal history including possession of stolen property, is now facing second degree arson, third degree malicious mischief and false reporting charges.