Between Sunday night and Monday evening, a Mountlake Terrace family’s fence and Pride month signs were vandalized with spray paint, resulting in a hate crime investigation by Mountlake Terrace police.
Hannah Meier and their wife were caring for their sick 5-year-old son all day and didn’t know about the vandalized Pride banner and lawn sign until they pulled their car out of the garage to go to the doctor.
“We quietly locked eyes and stayed calm,” Meier said. “I’m just glad our son can’t read yet.”
Meier’s Pride banner reading, “Love Always Wins,” was defaced with what appears to be the words “bitch loses” written in blue and yellow spray paint, bleeding through the nylon and into the wooden fence behind it.
A yard sign near the banner reading “Be on the right side of history” was also defaced with the letters “fr” in blue.
Meier said that with the priority being their sick child, the couple decided that the police report would need to wait until they returned.
Meier and Mountlake Terrace police are uncertain about what “fr” signifies. However, the report by the officer on the scene noted that the other graffiti “was clearly more direct in the suspect’s intent and objection to Hannah being gay.”
Home security cameras could not get an image of the crime, and there are currently no suspects.
The couple have lived in Mountlake Terrace for over 10 years and this is the first time they have been confronted with bigotry in their community, Meier said.
According to Meier, they are replacing the damaged signs, adding more and encouraging neighbors to raise Pride flags. The family is also adding more cameras to catch the suspects if they strike again.
“We’re not going to let them win,” Meier said.
Mountlake Terrace Police Commander Mike Haynes said via email that hate crimes are a priority response for the police, and the department encourages victims of bias-related crimes to contact them immediately to investigate.
“It is the intent of individuals who perpetrate these crimes to intimidate and harass their victims, and if not addressed quickly, they will likely continue to victimize our community. We will use our resources to hold those responsible accountable for their actions,” Haynes said.
If you need to file a report with the Mountlake Terrace Police Department, call 425-407-3999.
— By Rick Sinnett