Wilton Manors is a thriving town thanks in large part because of the vibrant gay community. That’s why a hate crime against a gay man has reverberated strongly through the city.
The crime happened early Tuesday morning on the 2200 block of Wilton Drive. The victim said a man approached him and began calling him a gay slur. The suspect then started throwing rocks at the victim, one of which hit him in the stomach.
The victim told Wilton Manors Police the suspect followed him for another block and a half throwing rocks at him and his home and also using more gay slurs. The suspect then got into a gold Honda Accord and left the area.
The crime shocked residents of the quiet city.
“It’s outrage, who would come to our town and do that stuff?” asked resident Mike Williams. “It’s not only our town, it’s anybody’s town.”
“I think it’s terrible, it’s terrible for the community, it’s terrible for the nation,” said businessman Rene Arredondo. “We take a couple of steps forward and now a couple of steps backward.”
Wilton Manors Mayor Gary Resnick said there was no place for the crime and said he’d like to “commend the victim for coming forward.”
“Wilton Manors has absolutely no tolerance for hate crimes, and this is a very rare, rare event,” Mayor Resnick said. “We do not have a lot of events where people are attacked on the streets because they may be gay or lesbian.”