Vandals torch vehicle of metro Atlanta gay couple

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Vandals targeting a lesbian couple in Forsyth County continued their assault on Wednesday, this time apparently torching the couple's 2008 Saturn.

It's the second time this summer anti-gay vandals have struck at the home on Hurt Bridge Road in Cumming. In June, a gay Pride flag in the yard was set ablaze, which also damaged a vehicle and the couple's yard.

No arrests have been made in either incident, authorities said.

On Wednesday at about 1:55 a.m., vandals approached the home from nearby woods and targeted the couple's vehicle, according to the Forsyth News. But fire officials are slow to rule the incident a case of arson.

Since Wednesday’s incident was fire-related, the Forsyth County Fire Department is handling the investigation through its fire marshall’s office.

The blaze, which destroyed the vehicle, is not being considered arson by the fire department because there is not yet a cause or origin, according to Division Chief Jason Shivers.

“By the very nature of a vehicle fire, it’s hard to determine [those factors],” Shivers said.

On June 30 – four days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage – vandals ripped a Pride flag flying in front of the couple's home, laid it on the windshield of their car and used Tiki Torch fluid to set it on fire.

Sheriff's investigators have failed to identify any suspects in the incident, according to the Forsyth News.

No one has been arrested or charged in connection with the vandalism, which most notably included the burning of the homeowner’s rainbow flag on a vehicle in the driveway and damage to a peach tree and front yard, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

Epifanio Rodriguez, a spokesman for the agency, said the investigation remains active, though it was unclear whether anyone has been questioned in the incident that was described as “an obvious hate crime.”

The couple has said teens from the neighborhood have targeted them for anti-gay harassment in the past.


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