LAYTON — Neighbors have rallied behind a Layton family after the tires were slashed on their vehicles and trailer. They believe they were targeted because of “Black Lives Matter” signs at their home.
The Harnege family told KSL they believed they were the victims of a hate crime. They found the tires slashed on their car, SUV and trailer Friday morning.
“Heartbreaking. Wondering why it would happen to us,” said Theo Harnege.
Harnege, who is Black, said the only reason he believes someone would do such a thing is because of the Black Lives Matter signs he put up in his yard a month ago.
“I 100 percent agree to that, yes. None of this happened until I put the signs up,” he said. “Any other reason, not at all. We never felt disrespected before now. We’ve been treated with nothing but respect. We get along with our neighbors and everybody who walks down the street.”
Officials with the Layton Police Department said they are investigating the case and trying to find who did this, but without a suspect and without more evidence, they cannot say what the motive is at this time.
It’s a crime that motivated neighbor Hannah Shepherd to take action. On Monday night, she posted about the situation on social media, asking for help to buy the family new tires.
“This is just wrong — flat out wrong,” said Shepherd. “It made me so sad that I actually went home and cried. I broke down and I cried.”
After she posted the story on Facebook, messages and donations poured in to help the family.
“We are better than this. We deserve to love each other and there’s too much going on in the world right now to do stupid things like this,” she said.
Shepherd also reached out to Big O Tires on Main Street in Layton. They also wanted to help.
“The last thing we want is someone to be stranded because they can’t afford something they can’t get,” said Moises Paredes with Big O, who has been working with Shepherd.
Harnege said he is so thankful for the outpouring of love and support from the community.
“We are the type of family … we would rather give than receive,” he said. “We feel blessed that our neighbors really think of us that way.”
As for the BLM signs, Harnege said they are staying up.
“Yes sir! There is no reason for me to take them down. This is not going to stop me from believing in what I believe in, or what I support,” he said.
Those wanting to help can Venmo @Hannah-Shephard-18*.
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