Residents of Denver’s Cole neighborhood find tires slashed, windshields shattered

After weeks of furloughs, layoffs and fears surrounding the novel coronavirus, the last thing residents in Denver’s Cole neighborhood needed to worry about was a car repair.

But a vandal slashed tires and busted windshields over the weekend, leaving the victims feeling as shattered as the glass on their cars.

“I thought, ‘It can’t be me,’” Dina Budz said. “It was horrible. It brought me to tears. I was having trouble sleeping because I thought they were gonna come back and do it again.”

However, goodwill from neighbors and a tire store will keep spirits rolling.

More than 20 cars were vandalized, resident Taylor Hirschberg said. All four tires on his vehicle were slashed, too. Knowing many neighbors were out of work, he created a GoFundMe account to raise money for repairs.

“We’re fortunate. My hours were cut, but I’m employed,” Hirschberg said.

The Denver Police Department is investigating, but no arrests have been made as of Wednesday afternoon, spokesman Doug Schepman said.

Budz left her car parked near the intersection of 33rd Avenue and Vine Street and found her back windshield destroyed when she returned from her morning walk Sunday and saw glass littering the ground.

Budz is out of work and was preparing to move to a new neighborhood. It’s a horrible time to add another bill to the pile.

“When Taylor came to the house, he was so great,” Budz said. “Such a relief. What an awesome guy.”

The GoFundMe page has raised $4,820.

Big O Tires announced that anyone whose tires had been slashed near 33rd and Vine could have them repaired for free as long as they bring a police report documenting the vandalism, said Matt Story, who owns the store at 4695 Peoria St.

Story wants to help neighbors in need even though business has been down at his store.

“It’s been really, really difficult. I think a lot of people don’t know that we’re actually open,” he said. “I’m really proud to be a part of this. This’ll give our employees something to do.”

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