AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Texas Civil Rights Project is stepping in to help an Austin woman who says her neighbor has threatened them repeatedly and called them "illegal aliens," among other things.
The civil rights group is filing a lawsuit and a temporary injunction against a neighbor, Amanda Benavides.
Cristina Piña Perez moved to the United States 10 years ago with her family from Mexico.
After renting houses to live in for all of that time, the family wanted to buy a place to call home. They purchased a property near East Riverside Drive and Montopolis Drive back in July 2011, and the family says the threats began soon after buying the property.
"She has a gun," Cristina Piña Perez said, speaking through a translator. "She has flashed that gun to my daughter. She has threatened me."
In addition to threatening the daughter with a gun, according to the temporary injunction filed Tuesday in district court, the woman has called the family racial names and has scared off construction crews at the house.
"[Benavides] has expressed herself and expressed towards us that we are 'wetbacks'...that she doesn't want us on her property, that we're Hispanics," Perez said through the translator.
Piña Perez also says she was forced to get an extension on her construction permit, at a cost of $78, because of the delays in construction.
The family says the police have been called to the property in the past. In their reports, Austin Police officers say Benavides "was observed to be extremely racist."
Benavides says she has never treated the family wrong.
"I've treated her right," Benavides said. "I talked to her about God and Jesus Christ"
"She said, 'Don't talk to me about that.' I said, 'Ok, then go to hell,'" Benavides said. "God says in the Bible to be humble. Be humble, yes, but don't be dumb and stupid."
Other neighbors say they've never seen Benavides treat the family wrong.
"I haven't witnessed any guns," neighbor Fred McGhee said. "I haven't witnessed any gun play. I haven't seen any of that."
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