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Anti-gay messages spray painted in Lancaster

June 26, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Authorities were investigating a hate crime in Lancaster on Sunday night.

Five anti-gay messages were spray painted in red on different areas around a strip mall at the intersection of 10th Street West and Avenue J-4. A security guard at the shopping complex spotted the vandalism Sunday morning and notified authorities.

Among other profanity-laced messages, some said "Gays Go 2 Hell" and "Kill All Gays Now."

"These were anti-homosexual messages advocating killing and violence against homosexuals spray painted on walls of three distinct businesses," said Sgt. Paul Pfrehm of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators said it appears to be a random act of violence and is not connected to the businesses in anyway.

Detectives said they believe it happened between 10:30 p.m. Saturday and 5 a.m. Sunday. They were reviewing security video from several locations to see if the suspects were caught on camera.

"This is a felony," Pfrehm said. "It's an attempt to intimidate people or harass people. The sheriff's department has a strong stand on this. If we can locate the individuals involved they will be prosecuted for a felony."

Nearby residents said it is sad to see such malicious messages.

"I think they're ignorant. I thought we got past this a long time ago, but I can see that we ain't. Some people still just in their bigotry ways," said Lancaster resident Michael Cannon.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's department at (661) 948-8466.


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