Vandals attacked the home of a lesbian in Forsyth County overnight Monday, burning a gay Pride flag and damaging her car and yard, police said.
The incident – which took place at a home on Hurt Bridge Road in Cumming, about 40 miles northeast of Atlanta – is not the first time the woman has been targeted over her sexual orientation, she told police.
The victim reportedly told police she had “had problems with teenagers in the neighborhood before due to (her) relationship.”
“However this had gone too far,” the incident report said, “and she now feared for the safety of her family.”
The vandals removed the flag flying in front of the home, laid it on the windshield of her car and set it ablaze, according to media reports.
They also damaged other portions of the yard. Via the AJC:
The same accelerant used to start the flag fire — believed to be “Tiki Torch fluid,” Regan said — was poured in a semicircle around the vehicle and ignited.
An incident report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said bark had also been stripped from a peach tree in the victim’s front yard. Flowers were uprooted and rocks lining the garden had been “thrown around the yard,” the report said.
The homeowner replaced her American flag with the rainbow flag following the Supreme Court's ruling on Friday legalizing gay marriage in Georgia and across the country.
“From the beginning, we’re treating it as an obvious hate crime … because previously the house had an American flag flying and just on Friday they changed it to a rainbow flag,” said Robin Regan, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff's office is taking the incident seriously, dispatching investigators from its property crimes and special victims units.
“We treat all hate crimes very seriously in Forsyth County,” he said, “and will not stand for them.”
In 2013, vandals burned a gay Pride flag posted outside the home of a lesbian mother in southeast Georgia.