Three Warren County teenagers have been charged with delinquency to the act of vandalism for peppering the historic home of a Warren County gay man with more than 80 paintballs.
The male teens, ages 15 and 16, will appear before Juvenile Court Judge Larry Ross on Wednesday, April 18. One of the teens was allegedly arrested on Saturday, April 14 and two others on Monday, April 16.
It remains unclear if the youth will also be charged with hate crimes. According to the Tennessee chapter of the ACLU, Tennessee state law expressly provides for enhanced penalties for crimes against a person or property that are motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s belief or perception regarding the race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry or gender of the victim (TN STAT. § 40-35-114).
The Tennessee Equality Project reminds O&AN readers that hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation should also be reported to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Several thousands of dollars of damage has been done to the home from the paint balls, which will require the siding on the home to be replaced.
Neal Moffitt Anthony, who lives in the Irving College community in Warren County, said detectives with the Warren County Sherriff’s Department continued to investigate other forms of harassment including marbles and rocks shot with a slingshot at the house; the spray-painting of anti-gay messages on the home; broken windows; a gay pride flag being cut in half and a person who used his birdbath as a toilet.
“All gays go to hell”, “fags deserve 2 die” and “your mama is hell bound” were just some of the messages painted on the stately home on April 5 and 6. The home has served as the homestead for the Anthony family for four generations and was built in 1851. It was completely restored last year.