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Police arrest, identify suspects in anti-gay graffiti crime spree

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

ARLINGTON, Texas — Police in Arlington, Texas on Wednesday announced they have identified five suspects in connection with a crime spree earlier this month that included nearly a dozen incidents of anti-gay graffiti.

On the night of June 9, the suspects allegedly damaged 13 properties in an Arlington neighborhood; all of the suspects are teenagers, ranging in age from 16 to 18 years old.

One of those was the home of a family headed by a same-sex couple. The back of the couple’s car included a sticker of two moms, a child, and a dog. The suspects spray-painted “faggot” and “queers” in large letters over the back of the vehicle.

Police said that while there were several victims in the case, they believe the lesbian couple was intentionally targeted because of their sexual orientation.

It is the correlation between the bumper sticker and the anti-LGBT slurs that police say indicates a hate crime.

Texas law prohibits hate crimes based on sexual orientation but not gender identity. It includes property crimes as well as violent crimes.

“We are committed in Arlington to prevent all crime especially crime that was committed for no other reason than possibly toward hatred,” said Acting Police Chief Will Johnson. “We want to send a strong message to the community that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.”

Police said one of the suspects, 18-year-old Daniel Sibley of Arlington, was arrested Tuesday afternoon; the four other suspects in the case are expected to be taken into custody soon.

All of the suspects will be charged with Graffiti between $1,500-$20,000, a crime that is a felony in Texas, said officials.

“It’s commendable that the Arlington PD responded to this crime so quickly and thoroughly, and that they are not turning a blind eye to the anti-LGB factors involved – in fact quite the opposite,” said HRC President Chad Griffin, in a statement.

“This is a shining example of law enforcement officials doing the right thing, and working diligently to ensure all members of the community they serve feel safe and protected,” he said.

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12 more reader comments:

  1. wow, passive aggressive projectionism anyone?

    Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 12:26pm
  2. :/ people are still doing this?…

    Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 12:27pm
  3. Haha silly people

    Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 12:28pm
  4. Ughhh people can’t respect that someone is gay,bi,or lesbian that’s how stupid they are.____. if they can’t accpet who you are than they are missing out on how cool you can be:)

    Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 12:29pm
  5. wow TEXAS cops arrest anti gay peple holy smoke

    Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 12:34pm
  6. Wow.

    Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 12:37pm
  7. Wow! Hooray for Texas!!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 12:46pm
  8. Oh please! Texas is a land of bigots, racists and homophobes who wear “entitlement” around their hips as they do their 6 shooters. Looks at the track records of the governors!

    Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 3:07pm
  9. ^ Joseph

    You are wrong. Completely and utterly misinformed. San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas all have fairly large gay populations and I’ve never heard of any of my gay friends having issues with cops. Most people I’ve met in the large cities don’t have a problem with the LGBTQ community, while even more support them.

    I’m a gay Texan and I’ve gone through life with only having been ridiculed for being gay once and it was by some ghetto kid with his friends.

    Texas isn’t a desert, tumbleweeds are rare, we don’t ride horse-pulled carriages, we don’t herd cattle. Sure, the majority of the state is extremely right-wing and bigoted, but you can’t generalize.

    Although, I will give you the governor comment, because NO ONE likes Rick Perry. It’s beyond me how he’s stayed in office for so long. The guy is a moron.

    Shouldn’t y’all be commending the cops for working hard to make sure the LGBTQ community is protected and is able to get justice for obvious hate crimes?

    Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 10:43am
  10. Joseph, I am a native Texan and have moved to California recently only to discover that much of the stereotypes about California are not true.
    Middle-of-the-road mentality is the most logical to have. Pick ANY group of people, whether by state, politics, profession, religion, race or nationality and you cannot truthfully say that any particular group is all one way or another. To say so is bigoted in itself.

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 6:44am
  11. …and besides, a “six-shooter” is too big to carry concealed, I had a “five-shooter” :)

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 6:47am
  12. Frank, you are absolutely right. I grew up in Houston and Austin. Good to see support from a fellow native Texan, (and “Frank”, lol). And yes, we should give the police credit when it’s due.

    Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 6:53am