Durham man says vandalism was hate crime

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A slur was scratched into the paint

Gordon Jenks worked hard to buy his new special order Cadillac.

So when a neighbor in his apartment complex called just after midnight Monday night and said the car had been vandalized he jumped out of bed.

"I immediately got on a robe, came down here, saw that," Jenks said. He added, "I felt sick to my stomach."

"That" was two long and deep scratches on the driver's door and rear fender.

And scrawled on the glossy black paint on the trunk lid a derogatory term for gays followed by a smiley face.

Jenks called Durham police.

Soon an officer called back.

"I got a phone call from the officer stating that he would not come and how I was to submit a claim online," Jenks told ABC 11.

That's when he told the officer that he was gay and the vandalism included a slur that might indicate a hate crime.

But the officer still refused to come.

Jenks couldn't believe it saying, "It says 'f**' with a huge smiley face. I mean, c'mon. That itself is quote, unquote, is like a hate term. That would be like using the 'N' word."

After speaking with his father, a retired Florida police officer, Jenks called Durham police again Tuesday.

This time an officer came.

"He only stayed for approximately two minutes and looked at it, didn't take any notes and said, 'Okay, you've already submitted it online. There's nothing more I can do." Jenks said the officer then asked, "'Do you have any suspects?' And I said, 'Well, no.'"

ABC11 reached out to Durham police about their response.

A spokesperson for the department indicated that the response was inadequate and said Durham PD's new LGBTQ liaison would reach out to Jenks.

Jenks says when he got over his initial anger about the crime and the response from police he realized he could be in danger.

"If someone were to go as far as trying to vandalize someone's personal property what's to stop them from cornering me and beating the living hell out of me?"

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societylgbtvandalismhate crimeDurham
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