Utah family seeks help after being target of alleged racist tirades by neighbor for months


(MIDVALE, Utah) — A Utah mother has taken to social media seeking help after alleging her family has been on the receiving end of racist tirades from their neighbor for months.

“I share this unfortunate situation publicly with hopes of change in behavior,” the mother, whose lawyer told ABC News that she asked not to be named, wrote in the caption of a series of videos posted to Instagram on Friday. “We have been dealing with a very vulgar and harassing neighbor since May.”

“She walks by our home daily and screams racial profanities at our home,” she wrote. The mother alleges the neighbor, who was identified by the city of Midvale as Kathryn Smith, screams racial profanities at the woman’s 9-year-old son and terrorizes her interracial family, frequently shouting racial slurs at them.

“… [S]he spit on our vehicles, camps in front of our house in the middle of the night, messes with our vehicles, paces around in our front and backyard in the middle of the night, chases our son around the neighborhood with sticks and leaf blowers, threatens to have her cats eat our kids, assaulted my pregnant belly stating I shouldn’t bring more children into the world,” the mother said.

The mother’s lawyer, Tyler Ayres, told ABC News on Thursday there have been 81 incidents involving Smith recorded by the family.

“Imagine how it would feel to have somebody tell your children they were dogs or monkeys, you know, and then there’s nothing you can do other than go talk to this woman who then is more ferocious with you,” Ayres said.

“We can’t pull into our driveway from the grocery store or let our son play outside without an encounter,” the mother wrote in a separate post Monday on Instagram. “We have tried the friendly route, the police route, the HOA route, the criminal route. Hopefully a civil route and helping change policy to not allow this behavior can create change. We truly have no clue how to handle this.”

ABC News has obtained a copy of an arrest warrant from the Unified Police Department (UPD) of Greater Salt Lake from an alleged incident over the summer that involved the family. The warrant shows that Smith was charged by the UPD with assault.

Police said they were called to the scene in June after the unnamed woman reported her children were playing outside when Smith came and began yelling at them, according to the warrant. The mother told Smith to leave her children alone when Smith allegedly started screaming and yelling at the woman and “coming very close” to her face, the document states.

Smith allegedly “forcibly poked” the woman’s pregnant stomach “before pushing her with both hands in the stomach,” the warrant states, adding this was “observed by several neighbors.”

ABC News was not immediately able to reach Smith. It wasn’t immediately clear if she has a lawyer representing her.

“My client’s child is scared,” Ayres told ABC News. “My client is expecting a new baby and all of this extra stress, including the violence that was meted out upon her when this woman poked her stomach, it’s done nothing to help her pregnancy and as a matter of fact, I think it’s pretty clear that it is hurting.”

The UPD told ABC News that Smith was arrested Tuesday night on two outstanding warrants, including a charge stemming from a dispute with a different neighbor, and released Wednesday. The Midvale Justice Court told ABC News on Thursday that Smith did not enter a plea but is expected in court on Jan. 11, 2024.

“This woman has no sense,” Ayres said. “She has no filter, and she has no sense of right or wrong. She believes that she’s entitled to do anything she wants, no matter how it affects everybody else. And she’s learning that that’s not the case,” he said.

The UPD of Greater Salt Lake on Tuesday released a statement saying it’s “investigating the incidents in Midvale involving a person identified by various media outlets as making harassing and racist statements to neighbors.”

“This harassment is being investigated. In addition to law enforcement solutions, the UPD Midvale Precinct is working with other social service providers to bring about a long-term solution for any individuals involved and the community,” the UPD said.

“UPD strives to serve all community members with equality and compassion. We are committed to finding solutions that will foster safe and healthy neighborhoods. We are committed to eliminating racism in our community and will act within our legal authority to accomplish this goal,” police said.

Midvale City also released a statement on Instagram Tuesday.

“A disturbing video was posted today regarding the behavior of a Midvale resident. We believe that the behavior in the video is disgusting. To be clear, Midvale City condemns this conduct,” the statement read. The city identified Smith as the resident in its post.

“While privacy rules keep us from sharing the details, please be assured that the appropriate authorities are involved and taking the situation seriously,” the statement said. “Our community takes great pride in our diversity; racism has no place in Midvale.”

Midvale Mayor Marcus Stevenson addressed the videos in a statement on Instagram Tuesday, noting this “is not an official statement from Midvale City.”

“It’s hard to describe how disgusted I feel learning that one of our Midvale families is living in a situation where they are dealing with regular racist tirades and feeling their safety is at risk,” Stevenson said.

“To be clear, racism has no place in our community. Everyone should feel welcomed here, and our community’s actions should back that up,” the mayor wrote.

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