Transgender woman's car vandalized, authorities think it may be hate crime
The Linn County Sheriff's Office is trying to figure out who painted what looks like hate speech on a transgender woman's car in Alburnett.
Deputies are investigating it as a possible hate crime. Sheriff Brian Gardner said that might be tough to officially determine. Authorities would likely need to talk to a suspect and discover the motive behind the graffiti.
If confirmed, the sheriff believes it would be the first Linn County hate crime in recent memory.
The incident happened around 11, Friday night. Alyssa Eve was watching TV when she heard loud pounding on her windows. Scared, she called her mom and then headed outside to see what was going on.
"The first thing I saw was spray paint on my door, which said 'kill urself',” said Eve. “Then, I was out here waiting for my mom. I didn't even think about going to my car."
But, there in the darkness, was the worst of it. Vandals spray painted Eve's car with hate speech and a message to "get out". It was painful for Eve to see.
"This has been my home for 23 years,” said Eve. Nothing like this has ever happened to me. I was just devastated and started crying. I had no idea anyone in this town hated me so much."
Sheriff Gardner said Eve’s case will be a tough one to solve. The trouble, he said, is a lack of evidence.
"We don't have finger prints,” said Gardner. “We don't have witnesses. We don't have video. Unless someone comes forward and says, 'hey, someone is talking. I happened to hear,' and passes that information on, we're kind of stuck right now."
In the meantime, Eve said she won't let the bad guys have the last word. She and her friends decided to turn something meant to hurt into something of pride.
"We are going to paint it pink,” said Eve. “That's my favorite color and represents the gender that I am truly."
One of Eve’s friends setup a Go Fund Me page online. It was originally created to raise money for the repaint. But, support has been so great for Eve, the $3,500 goal was reached in a matter of hours.
Now, Eve’s thinking about using the money to buy a new car. As for the pink one, she'll use it for pride parades.
"We're going to take this hate and turn it into a bunch of love,” said Eve.
You can help the Linn County Sheriff's Office find whoever did this. If you know something, give them a call. That number, (319) 892-6100.