Gay couple’s Christmas gingerbread men decorations ‘ripped up and smeared with faeces’
A gay couple who decorated their house with two gingerbread men holding hands were sickened to discover the Christmas ornament had been torn up and smeared with excrement.
Police in Eureka, California, are treating the incident as a suspected hate crime after Brian Kleinmeyer and Daniel Kain woke up to find the decorations defaced last Wednesday (16 December).
The plastic ornaments were let by the vandals directly below the couple’s Pride flag.
In a Facebook post, Kleinmeyer said: “Somebody came to our home [overnight] and wiped faeces all over our gingerbread men.
“They literally ripped them out of the ground, and wiped their asses with them, and carefully laid them at the base of our Pride flag.”
Gay couple ‘in shock’ over suspected hate crime incident
He added: “I thought things might get stolen, but never in a million years did I think this would happen. I’m completely in shock.”
The local police chief called the couple and assured them he “fully intends to charge whoever did this with a hate crime”, Kleinmeyer said, before later hand-delivering them two gingerbread cookies.
Speaking to local outlet The Lost Coast Outpost, Kleinmeyer said other Christmas decorations had already been vandalised less than a fortnight before.
He said: “The first time they broke a Santa sleigh in half and tangled up a bunch of my Christmas lights.
“Something about two gingerbread men holding hands just pushed them over the edge, I guess.”
Police chief vows to bring charges against whoever who smeared faeces on Christmas decorations
Eureka police chief Steve Watson said the crime was “absolutely horrendous and appalling”.
Watson told the local news outlet: “It’s very clear in my mind this was a deliberate act based on the suspect’s perception of [the victims’] sexual orientation.”
Addressing the couple, the police chief added: “I [want] to reassure them that the city manager and I, the council — that EPD and the city has their back.
“This kind of hate is not going to be tolerated. We’ll throw every resource we have into identifying, pursuing and arresting whoever’s responsible, as well as working with the district attorney to make sure they’re prosecuted to fullest extent of the law.”
Noting a spate of local hate incidents, Watson added: “I still want to believe that the overwhelming majority of Humboldt County residents are welcoming, accepting people.
“But we can’t stick our head in the sand, because we know there are many people who live in fear of racism and hate.”
Kleinmeyer added: “I didn’t cry over our decorations being vandalised, but I did from the kindness we have been shown since it happened. I’m completely blown away.”
No charges have yet been filed over incident.