Wis. Teen Arrested for Alleged Hate Crime Against Gay Couple
A Wisconsin teenager was jailed last week after allegedly verbally harassing a gay couple and vandalizing their home. Police are calling the incident a hate crime, Fox 6 Milwaukee reports.
One of the alleged victims, Peter Barron, told Fox 6 that Khadijah James, 17, started harassing him, his brother and brother’s partner, about a week ago.
"She tried throwing a jug in the garbage and it bounced out and my brother’s friend said ’just throw it in the dumpster in the alley’ and she called him a few words," Barron said. According to police, after exchanging words, James became irate towards his brother Neil.
"She became defensive and started calling them gay slurs," Jessie Metoyer of the Racine Police Department, told the news station.
Despite the allegations, James’ mother defended her daughter saying, "It just doesn’t seem like something she would say." The criminal report claims, however, that James verbally harassed the same-sex couple with anti-gay slurs for a week.
"They say Khadijah was using slurs against them and shouting slurs from across the street as they were waiting at the bus stop and walking past their house," Metoyer told Fox 6. Barron added that that the couple was upset with James but tried to ignore her.
According to police, James took things further after bumping into the men in an alley near their home, and decided to vandalize the mens’ house.
"One got an uneasy feeling and started watching Ms. James and he saw her pick up some items and throw them at their house and the window shattered," Metoyer said. "I give both of these gentlemen a lot of credit for coming forward and bringing this to the forefront before it got any more serious."
The authorities say James has been in trouble before: the teen was recently charged with a domestic incident in her own home that resulted in criminal damage to property charges.
The men that were allegedly attacked by James say they aren’t living in the same area anymore and hope others who have been attacked by James will speak out.
Wisconsin’s the Journal Times reports police charged James with two hate crime charges and was charged as an adult. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 16.