On Friday, an Ohio man was convicted of a hate crime — namely, insinuating he was going to “shoot up” his gym if managers didn’t banish gay people from the facilities.
He then gruffly assaulted a member of the Columbus fitness center solely because of his sexuality.
41-year-old Michael D. Smith jumped off his treadmill and charged at a man he suspected was gay, 22-year-old Michael D. Harris. Smith ranted and raved, insisting he couldn’t possibly change in the locker room “because all the f*gs are in there.”
He allegedly kept repeating that he wished he could kill “all the gays.”
During the scuffle, he had to be restrained by gym members.
The authorities weren’t told of the incident until three days later — after the gym manager emailed Smith to inform him that his membership had been terminated due to behavior.
Smith wrote back in two separate emails that were filled with profanity and homophobic slurs.
After that, he was arrested.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, he’s now been convicted of ethnic intimidation, “a ‘seldom-used charge’ in the city code.”
The charge requires proof that the defendant assaulted or menaced someone due to the victim’s age, race, religion or sexual orientation.
Smith allegedly went into Cal Fitness on two separate occasions in August, threatening to “shoot up” the gym if management didn’t follow his instructions.
In court, Smith’s attorney argued that he’d been “hit on” by members of the gym, and also ogled in the showers.