After enduring four years of racial slurs, various types property damage, threats of violence, and three Confederate flags facing their home, the Baker family has finally gotten some type of peace after their next-door neighbor, Robert Kujawa, was sentenced to two to four years in state prison. Kujawa received the sentence after being found guilty on two counts of ethnic intimidation.
Biafra Baker said the problems with their neighbors began after the Kujawa family moved next door in 2010. The first incident to be noticed was a dead squirrel being found spread eagle between the two yards, Baker said. The Bakers also started to notice damage to exterior features of their house. Mrs. Baker said, “We kept finding things ‘off’ on our property but we never had an exact person who was doing it. We just knew something wasn’t right.”
The first definitive clue of who was causing the mischief came on May 26, 2014 when the Bakers found 14 cigarette butts stubbed out on their front porch. While no one in their household smokes, they knew that their neighbor was a smoker. After the cigarette butts incident, Biafra Baker said Kujawa came onto her property a few days later and berated her. She said this is when he first called her a ‘nigger’ and smirked while saying it. According to Baker, Robert Kujawa said, “Yeah, I said it. You guys are nothing but niggers.”
After this incident, Kujawa would blare music in the middle of the night. The Bakers even found a sex toy left on their kids’ trampoline. Baker said Kujawa would just sit on his upstairs windowsill and stare at their house. He would also drink Mike’s Hard Lemonade and drop the empty bottles into a recycling bin a floor below. At one point, the Bakers said they found bits of broken glass on their back porch, which cut one of their son’s foot.
In addition to the jail sentence, Kujawa‘s house is in foreclosure and his family is planning on moving to New Jersey after his daughters complete high school in two years. According to Kujawa’s attorney, Alexander J. Karam Jr., Kujawa is “remorseful about the whole entire incident. He tried to make things work and they just didn’t work out.”
Before he was finally sent to jail, Kujawa was previously charged with harassing the Bakers in early 2014, but the Bakers had dropped the charges when Kujawa said he would move and had even put his house up for sale. But one day in a fit of rage, he threw the for sale sign at the Bakers while they worked in their yard. After that incident, the charges were reinstated and Kujawa went on probation for two years. While on probation, he didn’t bother the Bakers.
Now that Kujawa is in jail, Biafra Baker said, “You’re relieved that it’s over for now, but there’s no satisfaction because he has an anger and a hatred toward people like us. So there’s no joy.”