Florida man faces 30 years in prison for racist slurs against Asian American family

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A man who scrawled racial slurs against Asians on a Florida family’s automobiles and positioned nails in their driveway may rise up to 30 years in prison after he was convicted this week of hate crimes.

Kyle Christiansen, 34, of Daytona Beach, Florida, was convicted by a jury of two counts of felony mischief with hate crime enhancements. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 13 by Circuit Judge Dennis Craig.

The hate crime enhancement elevated the crimes from third-degree felonies punishable by as much as 5 years in prison every to second-degree felonies punishable by as much as 15 years in prison every.

According to a police report, the racist Asian slurs were painted in orange final July on the facet of a black pickup truck belonging to a male family member An Asian slur was additionally painted on the man’s sister-in-law’s grey Honda sedan parked exterior the home.

Nails had been additionally positioned on the driveway.

The male sufferer’s spouse advised police that she had obtained a Facebook message from an account with the identify “Pine Cone” which had a profile image of a squirrel. The Facebook message contained Asian slurs focusing on her and her husband, and mentioned that they wanted to die by rat poison, the charging affidavit states.

She mentioned in a deposition that the Facebook messages used slurs and referred to folks of Vietnamese descent.

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The sufferer’s spouse mentioned that Christiansen was a affected person of hers at her dental follow, the affidavit added. The girl mentioned Christiansen had been to her workplace to have his tooth cleaned the day earlier than she obtained the Facebook message, the charging affidavit states.

In her deposition, the girl mentioned that Christiansen was a brand new affected person and maybe was stunned she was Asian. She mentioned that maybe primarily based on her final identify, which is not Asian, Christiansen could have been anticipating a white physician.

“He kept on saying this office isn’t what it seems and he would never expand on that and so that was that,” the girl mentioned.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal, a part of the USA TODAY Network, is just not reporting the names of the victims as a result of the case concerned a hate crime.

The “Pine Cone” Facebook consumer additionally despatched messages to the Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines in May and September 2020 warning that he was planning to stab the primary Filipino he noticed in his city due to the way in which his brother was handled on a go to to the Philippines, in keeping with the affidavit.

After his trial, Christiansen was remanded into custody to await sentencing.

State Attorney R.J. Larizza issued a press release after the trial, saying: “Bigotry exists in our communities. It is important to shine a light on it when we can so that folks can see its ugly face.”

Since the coronavirus pandemic throughout the United States,, Asian Americans have been reporting a big enhance in hate crimes, harassment and discrimination.

There had been 6,603 incidents of hate from March 19, 2020 to March 31, 2021 reported to Stop AAPI Hate, in keeping with a nationwide report from the group which fights hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Verbal harassment made up 65.2% of the incidents and shunning (intentionally avoidance) made up 18.1% of incidents reported, in keeping with the group. Physical assault was the third largest at 12.6%, in keeping with Stop AAPI Hate.

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Last month, the suspect in a string of deadly shootings at Atlanta-area therapeutic massage parlors was indicted on domestic terror and murder charges, and prosecutors signaled they will even search hate crime prices — something advocates have been pushing because the March slayings rattled the Asian American group.

Christiansen’s vandalism triggered greater than $5,000 in injury to the family’s automobiles. Evidence confirmed that Christiansen was motivated by the victims’ race and heritage, in keeping with a launch from the State Attorney’s Office. Christiansen had no prior misdemeanor or felony convictions.

Contributing: Christal Hayes, USA TODAY

This article initially appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Florida man faces 30 years for slurs against Asian American family

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