Kennewick Couple Say They Are Being Harassed Because Of Their Sexual OrientationPosted: Updated:
KENNEWICK, Wash. - A Kennewick couple is tired of being harassed and now they're moving out of the neighborhood.
They believe they are being targeted because they are gay. A sister of one of the men lives with them and she spoke to KNDU last week about the problems they have been experiencing.
The woman, who wanted to be identified as Mrs. Johnston, just moved into the neighborhood two weeks ago.
She said, "My first night here, my welcome present was a rock thrown at my window next to my room."
That rock thrown through their window at two o'clock in the morning was the last straw. Johnston said, "People pull their children inside when he and his partner come outside."
This isn't the first time this family has had to endure this type of harassment. They told police that back in February eggs were thrown at their house, in May gay slurs were written in chalk next to their cars, then in July someone put a for sale sign on their lawn, and then a rock thrown at the window in the middle of the night the last week. They notified police about the harassment.
Kennewick Police Sergeant Ken Lattin said, "Anytime you've had this many incidents in a short time on time it's very possible someone is targeting them."
Johnston said they are being treated poorly, "behaviors that I would call passive aggressive, making sure the message is clear, that you are not an acceptable person."
Police do not have any suspects, but the victims believe they know who is responsible.
Johnston said she is tired of the way her brother is being treated and now the family is moving.
She said, "Next time it could be a gun shot... This isn't a religious issue or a political issue. This is a human issue."
Police said they don't encounter many hate crime cases in the area, but leaders with the Vista Youth Center said these types of crimes are significantly under reported.