Bias crime investigation focuses on vandalism in Central District

KING 5's Natalie Swaby reports.

The vandalism was discovered near 16th Avenue South and East Yesler Way in Seattle on the morning of June 1. That’s when a resident discovered his brand new Land Rover had an anti-gay slur scratched into the side of the vehicle, and the same word was also painted in bright red letters across the hood.

"They went all the way down to the sheet metal," he said, referring to the driver’s side door. "I worked really, really hard to buy this car, and to see it vandalized like this is just really upsetting."

The victim in this case does not want his name publicized because of the nature of the crime.

"I think members of the LGBT community are pretty tough, pretty resilient. We've all had to be at certain points in our life. So when I first saw it, to be honest with you, I was kind of just numb," he said.

As part of the LGBT community, he is aware it happens. But what is so disheartening to him is that in the first three months of this year alone, Seattle police have received 80 reports of bias crime.

"We as a society seem to be sliding back, back to a time when hateful bigots, racists, and sexists did stuff like this all the time and got away with it. That's what bothers me most," he said.

He hopes what happened to him serves as a wake-up call for others.

"I want people in Seattle to know that even though we are a big, welcoming, accepting city, it can happen right under our own noses," he said.

The damage done to his vehicle is expected to cost thousands of dollars to repair.

The victim is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person who did the vandalism.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Seattle Police Department at 206-386-1850 or send an email to vandalizedrangerover@gmail.com.

© 2017 KING-TV


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