A man in Boise, Idaho, was arrested after making death threats to his neighbors, an African-American family.
Christopher Gauthier was charged with “malicious harassment and burglary” after he terrorized a man, identified by his initials AOR, and his daughters, using racial slurs and brandishing knives.
The incident occurred last week when the victim turned on the engine to warm up his car. But he went inside his house to get something he forgot, leaving his daughters inside the vehicle.
When he came outside he saw his daughters running toward him, crying, saying Gauthier had made “scary faces,” at them, turned off the engine and took the keys to his apartment.
When AOR confronted Gauthier, demanding his car keys, that’s when Gauthier came outside, holding two large kitchen knives.
The victim immediately called the police.
At first, Gauthier denied stealing the car keys but officers eventually discovered them at his apartment.
“You threatened to cause injury to him while holding two knives and indicating that you were to ‘cut some n****rs,” Magistrate Daniel Steckel read from the complaint during the suspect’s arraignment.
At Ada County Jail, where Gauthier is being held on a $200,000 bond, he repeatedly used racial slurs, according to Idaho Statesman.
Although the perpetrator has been charged with malicious harassment, his crime was clearly more than malicious harassment — a racially charged murder threat.
The incident is, in fact, one of the many racially motivated attacks against people of color reported this year from across the United States.
Just in September, a white supremacist in Gresham, Oregon, ran over an African-American teenager with his car and smashed his head into the window of a convenience store, eventually killing him, as his girlfriend cheered him on. A few days later, again in Oregon, a report emerged about a man who harassed a black family, pepper sprayed their three children and shouted racial slurs.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles County, California, recorded a nearly 25 percent surge in hate crimes over the past year, mostly targeting black people.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, David Moir