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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
February 10, 2006

Were gunshots and slashed tires motivated by hate?

 

Toledo--A gay man living near the Old West End is worried that a recent series of incidents were motivated by anti-gay bias.

Peter van Herwaarden, 67, had his tires slashed twice, heard gunshots in his driveway and had a note taped to the door of his apartment saying �No Faggots Allowed,� all within the month of January.

It is not clear to police or van Herwaarden if the incidents are related.

The four tires on van Herwaarden�s 1993 Plymouth Voyager were slashed January 3 while the minivan was in his open garage. According to the police report, van Herwaarden first suspected a neighbor with whom he�d had an earlier disagreement over the neighbor�s car blocking his.

That investigation led nowhere, but police returned to the four-apartment Kenilworth Avenue building three days later, after van Herwaarden heard gunshots coming from the driveway.

Police arrived and collected seven .45-caliber shells from the pavement. Their report adds that at the time of the call--5:30 pm--van Herwaarden �did smell of intoxicants and was greatful (sic) for officers assistance.�

On January 13, van Herwaarden found his four tires slashed again. Two days later, he returned home to find a note on his door saying, �No Faggots Allowed,� signed, �Manager.�

Van Herwaarden said the handwriting on the note matches that of a second note attached to his mailbox January 23 complaining about where he put his trash. That note is signed by a neighbor in the same building and gives her phone number.

Police are investigating the events as a possible anti-gay hate crime. However, according to the reports, no determination has been made yet.

Toledo includes anti-gay bias in its �ethnic intimidation� ordinance.

 

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