CARROLLTON, Ga. — A Georgia man says his home was set on fire just hours after someone threw a rock through his window with a note wrapped around it containing anti-gay slurs.
Carroll County Sheriff’s officials are investigating the incident as arson and a possible hate crime.
The victim, Christopher Staples, 43, is openly gay.
“I was watching TV and just finished smoking a cigarette and I heard this big thud. Boom!” Staples told WSB-TV.
The rock had a threatening note attached.
“It said, ‘we know you’re gay. And God hates gays. You won’t be raping anybody in the county and God’s going to make sure that you burn in hell.’ And something about my daddy… my daddy will make sure you burn in hell.”
Then hours later, he woke up to flames filling his bedroom.
Staples’ mother Wanda Morris told the Times-Georgian that Christopher has lived in the area for 31 years and has never had any trouble.
“He’s disabled and has been very sick,” she said. “He hardly every leaves the house so I just don’t understand this kind of hate towards someone they obviously don’t even know.”
Staples said he had to crawl beneath the smoke, and barely had the breath to unlock his door to escape.
The Carroll County Fire Department is investigating the incident as possible arson, and the sheriff’s office says the case could result in attempted murder charges.