A Daytona Beach, Fla., man is facing up to 30 years in prison after being convicted this week of vandalizing vehicles belonging to an Asian American family with racial slurs.
What he did: Kyle Christiansen, 34, spray-painted two of the family’s vehicles and placed nails in their driveway on July 29, 2020.
- The vehicles, which were parked at the family’s home in New Smyrna Beach, were a black pickup truck owned by a male family member and a gray Honda sedan owned by his sister-in-law.
- They were defaced with the words “Die G**k Rat” and “G**k Retard Rat,” as per News Daytona Beach.
- The damages reportedly cost more than $5,000. Christiansen, who is currently in Volusia Sheriff’s Office custody, was arrested in September 2020, according to WFTV.
- Christiansen was found guilty of two counts of criminal mischief with hate crime enhancements. From third-degree felonies each punishable by up to five years, his crimes became second-degree felonies each punishable by up to 15 years.
What the family is saying: On July 24, 2020, five days before the vandalism, the male victim’s wife received a message on Facebook that targeted her family with slurs and referred to Vietnamese people, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
- The message came from an account with a squirrel photo and the name “Pine Cone.” It said the family needed to die from rat poison.
- The woman, who is a dentist, identified Christiansen as a new patient who went to her office the day before she received the racist message. She believes Christiansen was expecting a white doctor because her last name is not Asian.
- The woman alleged that Christiansen was rude to her and her assistant, who broke down in tears.
- “He kept on saying this office isn’t what it seems and he would never expand on that and so that was that,” the woman said, adding that Christiansen may have been anxious about the treatment.
- Investigation revealed “Pine Cone” also sent messages to the Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines in May and September 2020. The Facebook user said they were planning to stab the first Filipino they saw as retribution for their brother, who was allegedly mistreated during a visit to the Philippines.
Christiansen will be sentenced on July 13.
Featured Images via Volusia County Branch Jail (left) and New Smyrna Beach Police (right)