West Seattle gay couple target of alleged hate crime

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by OWEN LEI / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 25, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 26 at 4:48 PM

WEST SEATTLE -- After vandals smashed glass and slashed tires outside the home of Lyle Evans and Chris Ilovar, it's no surprise they immediately made plans to install new padlocks and motion-sensing lights.

But before all that they installed something else - a flagpole, with the intent to hang two banners -- a rainbow flag and an American flag.

"Awesome," said Evans. "Take that, haters."

It's a message from the couple to the people who vandalized their cars and left a letter laced with profanity and statements like "Get the f-- out of our neighborhood. The Bible says God forbids men committing indecent act [sic] with other men."

"It feels like a violation," said Evans, "feels really shocking because you don't think things like this happen anymore, especially in Seattle, Washington."

A Seattle Police report said it all happened just after midnight Saturday morning on the 4400 block of 50th Ave SW, in the Genessee Hill neighborhood. 

West Seattle Blog first reported on the vandalism Saturday night.

Ilovar said they woke up after hearing a loud noise outside the home.

"We thought it was the cat. We thought it was sprinklers going off," he said.

Ten minutes later, they heard the same sound again.

"I flew open the blinds in our bedroom and that's when I saw shadows running down the street," Ilovar said, "And I went, 'Okay, something's up.'"

While police reports officially call this an act of property damage and malicious harassment, Evans and Ilovar said it's pretty clear from the message left behind that this was a hate crime.

The suspect or suspects slashed all the tires on both men's cars, as well as throwing two baseball-sized rocks -- one through Ilovar's passenger-side window, one through Evans' rear windshield.

The note, signed "KKK," was wrapped around the latter, they said.

The couple doubts the Klan is actually involved, and said neighbors have approached them about seeing two suspicious men walking down their alley just before the incident.

Given that several gay couples live on their street, the two men said they don't know why the vandals targeted them specifically.  But they said the incident has actually brought all their neighbors closer in support.

"It's just kind of disturbing that people put so much effort to hate people," said Ilovar.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Seattle Police Department.

 

 

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