Citizens of the town of Newberry Fla. have come to the aid of a trans woman and her partner who were the victims of hateful vandalism in which an anti-transgender slur, along with "move or die," was spray-painted on their garage door last week, according to the Ocala Star Banner.
The women, Liz and Alecia Abel (who is trans), were approached at their home by Alachua County Sheriff's deputies on Friday after law enforcement patrolling the neighborhood noticed the spray-painted block message that read "Move or die tra**y fuck."
The slur took up 75 percent of the garage door, Liz Abel told the Ocala Star Banner. However, the couple was less surprised by the hateful message than they might have been as someone also left a yellow sticky note with the words "move or die" written on it earlier in the day.
Sheriff's Sgt. Brett Rhodenizer determined that the vandalism that occurred between Thursday night and Friday morning was being investigated as a hate crime.
"Whatever their motivations were, the actions are criminal," Rhodenizer said. "We're looking forward to working with neighbors to get the person identified."
The vandal/s have not been caught and a lack of video surveillance could make it difficult to identify them, but the Abels are heart-warmed by the support from their neighbors in the Newberry Oaks section of the town.
In the wake of the crime, neighbors have offered to paint the door, install surveillance cameras, and to take them to dinner, Alecia Abel said.
Newberry's Mayor Jordan Marlowe also reached out to the Abels to show that he stands with them.
"When I called them, first and foremost, I wanted to know that they were safe. I have respect for ASO [Alachua Sheriff's Office] but I wanted to be sure they were taking the threat seriously and everything that could be done to ensure their safety was being done," Marlowe said.
"I wanted to make sure they understood that there was no room in their elected representatives' hearts for this kind of behavior and message," he added. "It's disgusting and irreprehensible."