South Carolina

Mayor thought car was vandalized in hate crime, but it was likely pollen, reports say

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The mayor of tiny Lamar, South Carolina, called police because she thought her car had been vandalized with spray paint after it was covered in a white or yellow substance, according to a police report.

First Mayor Darnell Byrd-McPherson thought it was pollen, the report said, but then her husband saw the car that night and said it looked like spray paint.

In a statement to WPDE, the mayor said of the suspected vandalism, “Love conquers hate and my husband and I refuse to be intimidated by those who perpetrated this act of vandalism which I classify as an act of hatred.”

Officers who arrived on Feb. 7 wrote in the report that the substance covering the car was “yellowish” and “a type of powder similar to pollen.”

In the statement, the mayor said, “The incident happened last night. Even though I drove my car today, I thought it was pollen. My husband and our neighbor noticed the cars looked like someone had spray painted on both our vehicles, which were parked in our front yard,” according to WPDE.

The police report said someone went out to the cars at about 10 p.m. and saw what they thought was vandalism. That person went back into the house and asked, “’Where did you go today?’ ‘The car is covered in paint,” the report said.

The person listed as the victim in the police report told officers she first thought it was pollen. Then, according to the police report, she told officers she had “a possible suspect in mind at that time.”

Police forwarded the vandalism complaint to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, according to the report.

The mayor on Wednesday told WPDE that state investigators were “unable to make a determination of the substance because no sample was taken by the Lamar Police Department.”

If you have spent anytime in the Lowcountry during the early Spring or Fall, you have seen pollen. It covers everything in a fine blanket of yellow dust and makes people sneeze incessantly. But do you know what pollen is?

Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.