News (USA)

Anti-LGBTQ+ student thought he’d get away with urinating on a family’s Pride flag. He got busted.

The vandals were caught on home security video
The vandals were caught on home security video Photo: Screenshot

Trey Samuel Fetzer, a 20-year-old Ohio State University student, has been charged with ethnic intimidation, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, and criminal trespass after being caught on video urinating on the Pride flag located on a queer family’s front porch. The charges could result in hundreds of dollars in fines, probation, and even jail.

The alleged vandalism took place on the night of Thursday, February 8, in the Weinland Park neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. Video from the family’s front door surveillance camera shows the vandal pulling down his pants and urinating on the flag while repeatedly saying, “F**k the gays.” The vandal then extended his middle finger towards the house and hit its front door twice before running away with a male friend who had recorded the crime on his cell phone.

One of the family members living in the house, a transgender mother named Zoe, posted video footage of the crime to the website Reddit and asked residents for help identifying the suspects. Police responded to the video by visiting the family’s home.

“Vandalizing property and making homophobic remarks in an attempt to intimidate members of the LGBTQ+ community will not be tolerated in our city,” Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said in a statement. “Columbus is diverse and tolerant, and we celebrate our LGBTQ+ community. Hate has no home here, and as long as I’m city attorney, we will continue to aggressively prosecute hate and bias crimes.”

Fetzer later returned to the house on February 13 to apologize. The family members said they are not looking to ruin the vandal’s life — they just want him to understand why his actions were wrong and how much hurt he caused people. The family has also said that it will continue to display their Pride flag proudly.

The number of LGBTQ+ hate crimes in Ohio has increased between 2020 and 2022, according to the FBI. In 2020, the FBI recorded 69 hate crimes targeting people’s perceived sexual orientation. In 2022, that number rose to 81 — a 17 % increase. In 2020, the FBI recorded 34 hate crimes targeting people’s perceived gender identity. In 2022, that number rose to 45 — a 32% increase.

Ohio recently passed a ban on gender-affirming care for trans minors as well as a ban on trans girls and women participating in scholastic sports teams matching their gender identity.

At least one state Republican lawmaker said he wants to ban gender-affirming care for trans adults as well. In January, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) proposed rules that would have restricted adults from accessing such care, but the state removed the restrictions in early February.

Numerous families and individuals have begun seeking emergency relocation funds to flee the state.

This year, the state also prohibited several trans politicians from running for office because they didn’t include their deadnames on election paperwork.

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He gunned down a gay journalist & left him to die. Now he’s paying the price.

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