Santa Clara police investigate homophobic messages left on man's car
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KTVU) - Santa Clara Police are investigating what they call suspicious circumstances at an apartment complex after someone left homophobic messages on a man's car on Karen Drive.
David Quintana-Mueting was headed to work at 7:40 a.m. Monday morning eager to start his day until he got into his car and encountered something that shook him to his core.
"It didn't seem real because nothing ever happens in this neighborhood,' said David Quintana-Mueting of Santa Clara.
His windshield containing papers filled with hate speech including a book that read "don't be gay" and handwritten notes scribbled on religious papers stating "gays and smokers get out of the complex."
"It's hard to know that people could be that evil," said Quintana-Mueting. "It's hard to know someone could be so persistent on hurting someone they don't even know."
The 36-year-old special needs educator immediately called police. It was concerning to Lieutenant Dan Moreno who can't recall a hate crime in Santa Clara in the last 10 years.
"I was surprised because this is pretty rare for our city," said Lt. Moreno. "We are on it right away and investigating all the leads we can."
"It's awful," said Gabrielle Antolovich of the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center. "This is what makes us feel unsafe when things like that happen. When it's happening to him, it's happening to all of us."
The Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center calls the messages proof more work needs to be done. Ten percent of Santa Clara County's population identifies themselves as LGBTQ.
Meantime, David Quintana-Mueting posted what happened on Facebook and has been receving support from across the country. He said, it's support that's giving him strength to stand up and be proud.
"You can't let them win so I'm staying in my apartment," said Quintana-Mueting. "I'm sticking my ground and I'm not going anywhere. If they don't like it and I'm in the building, tough. then get out because I'm not going anywhere."
Police are investigating this incident as a possible misdemeanor hate crime, where the perpetrator could face a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.