So far this year, the Atlanta Police Department has classified five reported crimes as anti-gay bias crimes. A total of 17 bias crimes, which also include race, gender and religion, have been reported and classified by APD for 2010.
Atlanta police report five anti-gay bias crimes for 2010
In 2009, a total of six anti-gay bias crimes were reported to the APD and in 2008, there were eight anti-gay bias crimes reported. In 2009 there were a total of 20 bias crimes recorded and in 2008 APD classified 24 bias crimes.
A breakdown of these anti-gay bias crimes, according to year, from APD reports:
• On June 19 a 21-year old male living on Lakeside Village Drive SE called police to report that someone had thrown eggs at his car. “[The victim] stated that he has been having lots of problems lately with teenagers in the complex. He says the juveniles are targeting him and his friends because they are openly gay,” states an APD report. “On previous occasions, [the victim] has had arguments with some of the juveniles and they used homosexual slurs against him and his friends.”
• On June 24, an anonymous person called police to say he had heard rumors a gay man living with his grandmother on Elizabeth Avenue was the target of a hit. “The caller stated that … he heard that there was a hit put out on the young man. The caller also advised that the hit was placed on the young man due to his sexual orientation.” No suspects or possible victim could be identified.
• In a crime that made local headlines, gay men Rev. Josh Noblitt, 32, and his friend Trent Williams, 25, were robbed and beaten at gunpoint in Piedmont Park by a group of young men. The young men asked Noblitt and Williams, “are y’all gay … we should whoop your ass for that.” Police arrested six suspects shortly after the incident. The suspects are ages 13-19 and will all be charged as adults. They remain in custody awaiting trial.
• On July 10, a 64-year old woman parked her Chevy Tahoe on Springdale Drive NE. The next day she found it vandalized with paint with words such as, “I Love Niggers,” “I Love Latino Pussy,” “I love Fags” as well as drawings of male and female genitalia. Several other cars in the area were marked with the same kind of vandalism. The paint was washable with water so the vehicle was not damaged.
• Also on July 10, a woman, age 30, reported to police her ex-boyfriend, Randall Sternenberg, was texting her all day despite a court order to not have contact with her. In the text messages, Sternenberg, 30, kept saying he was going to kill himself. He also texted he was going to kill one of his ex-girlfriend’s friends, calling the friend a “fag.” In one text, Sternenberg said he was at the Kroger on Monroe Drive. Police went to the Kroger and located him and arrested him, charging him with terroristic threats.
• A man reported to the APD that he had been having problems with several men in his neighborhood, saying he was being harassed because he is gay. He said he was followed to Ira Street on Jan. 3 and two men got out of their truck with a gun saying they were going to harm him. The gun was pointed at the ground while the threat was made. The victim stated the suspects backed away when they drove off and he was not able to get a tag number.
• On May 14, a homeless man was found staggering in the middle of the intersection at Courtland Street and Baker Street at about 9:13 p.m. by an officer conducting patrol on his segway. When the officer approached the man and asked for his name, he said, “I’m a gay black man.” When asked if he had a driver’s license, the man stated “Why am I so evil.” The officer smelled a strong odor of alcohol on the man’s breath and when asked how much alcohol he had consumed, he answered he was a “gay black nigga.” When asked for his date of birth, the man said he was a “sissy” and “homosexual.” He was charged with disorderly while intoxicated and taken to Atlanta City Jail.
• On June 25, a 47-year old Kirkwood man reported that while his Ford pickup truck was parked in the parking lot at 990 Toffie Terrace someone wrote the words, “Homohomo” in yellow ink on the tailgate.
• On July 7, a person identified as male in the APD report but who told officers he was transgender, said he and friends were walking on Boulevard Avenue and several men started calling them faggots and telling their other friends to get their pistols. When the victim was walking on Boulevard to the store at a separate time, the victim was approached by one of the men who had been yelling earlier and who hit the victim in the head by an unknown object. The victim fell to the ground and was kicked by several other men, stomped and “they pulled his hair out while he was on the ground.” The victim stated the beating occurred only because [he] is transgender.
• On Sept. 1, the sons of an an 82-year old man with dementia reported their elderly father went to Felix’s in Ansley Square on Aug. 29 and met a man and a woman and brought them back to his home. The elderly man was seen making out with the younger man while the woman watched. According to the APD report, the younger man and woman began conspiring to try to steal money from the elderly man and made many threatening phone calls to his sons. Threatening texts included, “You dug this grave fag,” and “Was it nice to have guns drawn on ur robbing faggot ass?”
• On Oct. 4, a 19-year old male reported his Chevy truck tires were slashed and flattened and he believed they were slashed by his friend’s mother’s boyfriend — only known as Charles — who he said hates gay people. The victim said he parked his vehicle at 375 18 th St. and walked to work and found his tires flattened when he returned. While investigating his flat tires, the victim stated he received a text message from Charles that said, “For the record don’t call my phone fag.” It is noted in the police report that the LGBT liaison was notified.
• On Jan. 27, Atlanta Police were dispatched to an apartment at 3815 Martin L. King Jr. Dr SW. The victim, 24, identified as male in the police report, stated “that the group of 15 males started to make comments about him being a transsexual.” The victim commented back and the group started arguing with the victim and followed the victim to the victim’s apartment when bricks were thrown through the front bedroom window and the front kitchen window.
• On March 14, a 36-year old male reported to police his vehicle was parked in front of his house on Grant Street when at some point someone took an object and carved the word “FAG” on the driver side door.
• On April 22, a 32-year old male reported that another male, age 46, came to his home on Maynard Court and began a verbal fight. The suspect retrieved a butcher’s knife from the kitchen and held it to the victim’s throat. The suspect eventually left. A woman at the residence told police that the suspect’s anger is due to the victim “homosexual lifestyle.”
• On June 16, a 60-year old woman told police she had moved to an apartment on Village Park Lane two months ago and when she came out to her car on this morning the words “Bull Dagger” were written on her car using the dust on her car. There was also a drawing of a penis on the hood. The victim said she was offended because she is a lesbian.
• A transgender woman told police on July 9 that she had been sexually assaulted several weeks ago by a man who came to her home and said “he always wanted to know what it was like to have sex with a transgender and took his penis out … for her to have oral sex.” She said she refused and then the suspect held her down and tried to have anal sex with her. The victim also said she spoke to the suspect’s mother and told her about the incident the day it happened and wanted to report it to police because she was getting threatening text messages from the suspect who was upset she told his mother.
• On July 28, police responded to a burglary call at an apartment on McDaniel Street. The victim told police his door had been kicked in and several items such as a flat screen TV, clothing and furs, and 20 baseball hats were stolen. A witness recognized one of the people who broke into the apartment in the same building. When police went to question the suspect, he became angry and violent and said, “[T]hose faggets [sic] should not live here that’s why there house is getting broken into.” He also stated, “This is Pittsburgh apartments in the hood they should not be here.”
• On July 29, a 32-year old male reported to police he received a harassing phone call from a man who said he knew where he lived and knew that he was gay “with a harsh tone of voice.”
• An 18-year old Austell man told APD he was walking along McDaniel Street SW and Delevan Street SW on Dec. 30 when he was attacked by several suspects. He said he was attacked because he is gay. One suspect picked up a rake and struck him in the torso and he was also hit several times in the face.