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Florida man faces 30 years in prison for racist slurs against Asian American family

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla .– A man who scribbled racial slurs against Asians on a Florida family’s vehicles and nailed their driveway could face up to 30 years in prison after being convicted of crimes this week hateful.

Kyle Christiansen, 34, of Daytona Beach, Fla., Was convicted by a jury of two counts of criminal mischief with hate crimes enhancements. He is due to be sentenced on July 13 by circuit judge Dennis Craig.

The increase in hate crimes has increased the number of crimes from third-degree crimes carrying a sentence of up to five years in prison each to second-degree crimes carrying a sentence of up to five years. to 15 years in prison each.

Asian racist slurs were painted orange last July on the side of a black van owned by a male family member, according to a police report. sister of the man parked in front of the house.

Nails were also placed on the driveway.

The victim’s wife told police she received a Facebook message from an account with the name “Pine Cone” that contained a profile photo of a squirrel. The Facebook post contained Asian slurs targeting her and her husband and claimed they were to die by rat poison, the indictment reads.

She said in a statement that the Facebook posts used slurs and referred to people of Vietnamese descent.

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The victim’s wife said Christiansen was one of her patients in her dental office, the affidavit added. The woman said Christiansen went to her office to have her teeth cleaned the day before she received the Facebook message, the indictment reads.

In her testimony, the woman said Christiansen was a new patient and was perhaps surprised that she was Asian. She said that perhaps based on her last name, which is not Asian, Christiansen may have expected a white doctor.

“He kept saying that this office is not what it seems and that he would never develop that and so it was,” said the woman.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal, which is part of the USA TODAY Network, does not report the names of the victims because the case involved a hate crime.

Facebook user “Pine Cone” also sent messages to the Immigration Office in the Philippines in May and September 2020 warning them that he was planning to stab the first Filipino he saw in his town due to how her brother was treated while visiting the Philippines, according to the affidavit.

After his trial, Christiansen was remanded in custody pending his conviction.

State Attorney RJ Larizza released a statement after the trial, saying: “Bigotry exists in our communities. It is important to bring him to light when we can so that people can see his ugly face. “

Since the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, Asian Americans have reported a significant increase in hate crime, harassment and discrimination.

There were 6,603 hate incidents from March 19, 2020 to March 31, 2021 reported to Stop AAPI Hate, according to a national report from the organization that combats hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Verbal harassment represented 65.2% of incidents and avoidance (deliberate avoidance) represented 18.1% of reported incidents, according to the group. Physical assault was the third highest at 12.6%, according to Stop AAPI Hate.

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Last month, the suspect in a spate of fatal shootings at Atlanta-area massage parlors was charged with domestic terrorism and murder charges, and prosecutors reported they would also seek charges of hate crime – something advocates have been pushing since the March murders rocked the Asian American community.

The Christiansen vandalism caused more than $ 5,000 in damage to family vehicles. Evidence showed Christiansen was motivated by the race and heritage of the victims, according to a statement from the state attorney’s office. Christiansen had no previous convictions for misdemeanor or felony.

Contribution: Christal Hayes, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared in The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Florida man faces 30 for insulting Asian American family

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