Auto shop owner says if vandals return, he’ll be ready

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HAZLETON, Pa. -- Saying he'll defend his property no matter what, an auto repair shop owner sent a stern warning to vandals who tagged his new business. Sister station WNEP reports that Donnie Tolerico responded to graffiti by spray painting: "I am in fear for my life. I will use Deadly Force! You've been warned" right next to it.

Tolerico's business has only been open for about a week, and says he's sure he knows the culprits' background. He says he needs to send a message that resonates to the vandals.

"This is not me threatening anyone. This is simply me saying that this wasn't kids. This was gangs," Tolerico told WNEP. "I'm taking it seriously. If they come back around, my first response is going to be to take it seriously."

He also said what he did is extreme, but he worked hard to open his shop and the graffiti pushed him to his limit. Police say they don't encourage the way he acted.

Tolerico told WNEP he's going to paint over the original graffiti and his subsequent message.