Homophobic slurs carved into gay man’s car in Brookhaven

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Someone etched “takes dick” into two cars in Brookhaven – one owned by a gay man – and slashed the tires of a vehicle in what one of the victims claimed could be a hate crime.

The incident happened outside the residence of Taner Bayram on Drew Valley Road on May 22. The perpetrators also carved “he has AI” in Bayram’s BMW, apparently stopping short of writing “he has AIDS.” “Takes dick” was also carved into a visitor’s Acura and its tires were slashed.

Bayram was inside with friend Jonathan Kennon when they heard a hissing sound shortly before midnight. They looked out the front door but didn’t initially notice anything amiss.

“Thirty minutes later when we stepped outside, we found the scratches and the slashed tires,” Bayram told Project Q Atlanta.

A preliminary investigation indicates that the vandalism does not appear to be a hate crime, according to Brookhaven police. But that could change if new evidence emerges, police said.

“The victim and the suspect are acquainted, and the damage occurred shortly after a quarrel between the known parties,” Lt. David Snively said.

Bayram confirmed that he knows the suspect.

“But this person denies it,” Bayram said. “If the police can confirm this person [did it], it will not be a hate crime. If they cannot, I’m going to assume it’s a hate crime.”

“Whoever the person – it could be a gay person or a homophobic person – this was just a horrible act. The fact that this happened blatantly on my property is a little offensive,” he added.

Kennon said he doesn’t know the suspect.

“It could have been a hate crime so yeah, but then it could have been an act of jealousy too so I really don’t know,” he said.

Bayram relocated from New York City to Atlanta a year ago. He moved to Brookhaven three weeks before the incident.

“I hope they find who it is. I’m not holding my breath,” Bayram said. “Crime in Atlanta is peaking. New York City has a lot of crime too, but Atlanta has taken it to another level.”

Brookhaven police asked anyone with information to contact them at 404-637-0477 or submit an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta at 404-577-8477.

This story is made possible by Google News Initiative’s Journalism Emergency Relief Fund.

(h/t CBS46)

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