WEST COVINA, Calif. — Residents of a West Covina condo community say they are being harassed by a family inside their neighborhood, and have started a neighborhood watch to protect themselves.

Sophia Chavira has lived in the Monterra Pointe community for twenty years. Months ago she was awakened to the sound of boulders and rocks being thrown at her home. Her daughter Shadai says she was hit in the head.

They allege it was a family who lives in their condo community. They have video of teens, who are part of that family, climbing the green mountain behind their home after throwing rocks.

What You Need To Know

  • Residents of a West Covina condo community say they are being harassed by a family inside their neighborhood

  • They have started a neighborhood watch to protect themselves

  • Community members believe they are all being targeted because of race

  • The community has reached out to authorities for help

Chavira wondered if they were the only people being harassed.

“I got a clip board, a pen and a paper and I started knocking on my neighbors’ doors. I wanted to know if it was just us or if it was other neighbors having issues,” Chavira said.

Turns out there were many others. Her neighbor, Shelley Shen, said that her and her dog were attacked by a dog who belongs to the same family who threw the rocks. Shen and her dog have bite marks on their bodies.

“I shouted for more than five minutes,” Shen said.
Jose Cuerva says his family has been the target of hate speech.

“They just being racist to us and making comments about our race telling us that we should go back to our country,” Cuerva said.
Chavira believes they are all being targeted because of race. She and others call this type of harassment a hate crime.

“I think that love is light and loving the diversity of our beautifully unified community is something that we want to embrace and we want to grow our community’s capacity to be a place of peace and prosperity but I don’t see that happening,” Chavira said.

The community has reached out for help. They filed a restraining order on behalf of a group of community members, which was denied by a judge. They held a community meeting with West Covina Police Department officers, who urged them to call but admitted the department is stretched thin and may not always be able to respond quickly. Chavira has even spoken out at a city council meeting.

They’ve also complained to the Monterra Pointe Homeowners Association. In an email to Chavira, the HOA wrote “threats, dog attacks, throwing rocks through windows, etc.” are not crimes.

Yet in a statement to Spectrum News, the HOA wrote “The Association’s Rules and Regulations prohibit disorderly conduct in the common area and any activity which endangers life or property. The Association takes its responsibility to enforce these restrictions very seriously and does not tolerate any form of unlawful harassment within the community … The Association was recently made aware of complaints alleging harassment within the community and is following its violation procedures to investigate those allegations and to take appropriate disciplinary action as warranted.”

Community members have decided to help themselves and join together to start a neighborhood watch. Many have installed cameras around their homes. They are also working on drafting a formal plan to help neighbors feel safer at home.

Coming together is the best option they feel they have.

“The power of the love is so much greater than the hate that we foresee that eventually this will be overcome,” Chavira said. “As long as we stay unified and we keep pushing forward and we keep making noise we believe this will be resolved in a positive way.”

The community’s next plan is to hire an attorney, and vote for a new HOA president.