News :: Crime

Vandals Spray-Paint Homophobic Epithet and Smiley Face on OH Couple’s Property

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Nov 10, 2011
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Earlier this week Ohio residents David Robins and his partner Michael woke up to find the word "fag" spray-painted on their house, fence and garage door. In addition to the slur, the criminals also spray-painted a smiley face, according to a recent article byNBC4i.com.

Robins tells the news station that they have lived in the neighborhood for nine years and have never had an issue before. He also added that he is very disappointed by these circumstances.

"I kind of feel like it needs to stay up to make a statement, but at the same time, I don’t want to disrupt the neighbors, the perception of the neighborhood, but I also feel like I don’t want to cover it up, either," he told the new source. "My partner, Michael, is a little bit more fearful. I’m a little bit more aggressive than Michael is, but he’s fearful of it. He’s a little nervous about why it happened."

In September agay family in Seattle experienced a similar hate crime. Criminals damaged Lyle Evans and Chris Ilovar’s cars by slashing tires and smashing windows. They also left a freighting note that read: "God Hates Fags! Get the fuck out of our neighborhood," and was signed "KKK."

Instead of cowering in fear or simply forgetting about the incident, the couple embraced the act of hate by setting up a flagpole to hang the American and Pride flag.

"If the intent was to destroy or to oppress that’s not really working," Evans told local news station KCPQ. "It’s having the opposite effect. So, it’s making everyone in the community really rise up and come together and be positive and be open and vigilant around what’s happening in our neighborhood."

Police have filed the crime as a malicious harassment, even though Evans and Ilovar see it as a hate crime. In addition, the couple said they plan on installing an improved security system, which includes motion detector-operated floodlights, to prevent another attack from happening.

Hate crimes are unfortunately nothing new to the LGBT community. In January, a Florida gay bar was vandalized and the criminals destroyed most of the establishment’s equipment, such as, pool tables, TVs, pinball machines, video games, music system, cash register, jukebox and credit card reader, reported the South Florida Gay News.

"My staff went in first and then came back to the car and said ’You don’t want to go in there’. That’s how bad it was," Alan Kackin, the bar’s owner told the news source. "We had the police in, and they found some good fingerprints. Whoever did this tried to put us out of business, but we got to work and were able to open up for our weekly Bear Party that same night."

Although the bar was severely damaged, the vandals did not spray-paint or write any homophobic slurs on the property. Kackin said he was mostly worried about his staff.

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