‘Disturbing’ homophobic hate scrawled on woman’s car after visit to mum at hospital
Police have launched an investigation after a vandal spray-painted a homophobic slur on a woman’s car after she came home from visiting her mum at a hospital.
Kaylea Calhoun told WSMV that she returned home Sunday (13 June) to change her clothes after seeing her mum at the hospital. But when she came back outside, she saw her car had been vandalised.
The perpetrator painted “go to hell” on one side of the car and “f*g” on the other.
She believes the homophobic incident could be linked to pictures that she took outside the local courthouse for Pride Month.
“It was like one of those moments of why would someone do that for no reason?” Calhoun told WTVF. “It takes me a while to process things so I haven’t fully processed what happened.”
She reached out to local LGBT+ activist Caleb Banks for support, who said he was “shocked” when he “pulled up on the scene”.
More from PinkNews
“She was sitting on the ground upset and in tears,” Banks said. “It literally broke my heart. For this to be a direct reaction to her being LGBTQ bothers me. It’s disgusting, it’s disturbing and it’s unethical.”
Columbia’s mayor Chaz Molder said in a statement that this “isolated occurrence of homophobic slurs” doesn’t “define who we are as a community” and condemned it in the “strongest terms”. Molder added: “We are a community that is welcoming to all people, and as mayor, I will continue to work on greater compassion and inclusiveness for everyone, including the LGBTQ+ community.
“At this time, the incident is under active investigation by the Columbia Police Department, and I will look forward to the outcome of that investigation at which time I will comment further.”
Columbia police lieutenant Jeremy Haywood confirmed to WTVF that the local police department is investigating the “concerning” incident. He added the case is currently being investigated as vandalism, but this could change depending on how the investigation goes.
Haywood also asked anyone in the local area to check their security cameras in case they caught anything that could be crucial to the investigation.
A local nurse practitioner is offering to pay for the homophobic slurs to be painted over on Calhoun’s car. He told WSMV that he had “nobody” growing up and “people helped me along the way”, so he tries to “pay things back and help people who need help” when possible.