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Car tagged with anti-gay graffiti in SF

by Seth Hemmelgarn

A photo of the anti-gay and anti-Semitic graffiti found<br>on the hood of a gay man's car. Photo: Jeff Barhoum
A photo of the anti-gay and anti-Semitic graffiti found
on the hood of a gay man's car. Photo: Jeff Barhoum  

A gay San Francisco man is hoping to find whoever scratched "Fag" and a swastika onto the hood of his red 1967 Lancia Fulvia sports car.

As Jeff Barhoum waits for police to identify suspects, he's also trying to raise money to get the car repainted.

Barhoum, who didn't want his age published, said he and his partner, Edmundo de Marchena, discovered the vandalism April 29, two weeks after he'd last seen the car.

The car had been kept in a locked garage Barhoum rented on San Jose Avenue. There were no signs of forced entry at the garage, and he said there were no indications that anyone had rummaged through the car, which hadn't been locked.

Barhoum doesn't have any idea who may be responsible.

"I don't have any enemies," he said, and "I've never had any altercations" with anyone, including the person he rented the garage from.

"I don't really get why it happened," said Barhoum. "It's kind of scary."

Repainting the car will cost $8,000 to $9,000 "if they don't find any problems under the paint," he said. Insurance is covering about $2,500.

Barhoum said the Lancia, which he's had for almost a decade, is insured for $18,000.

In an email to the B.A.R., deMarchena, Barhoum's partner, said, "The man who rented the garage spot to us was out of the country." Five people had access to the garage, he said.

Emmanuel Galvan, who rented the space to Barhoum, said he doesn't have any idea who may have vandalized the car, and he called the incident "very unsettling."

The garage has space for three cars, said Galvan. Besides the main entrance, "there's also a back door, as well, but that's normally locked," he said.

There had been some construction work at the site before the car was scratched, and "construction workers had access to the garage," said Galvan, but that work had been completed before the vandalism occurred.

After the incident, the couple scrambled to find another garage.

Police have conducted interviews and "dusted for fingerprints," said Barhoum.

Officer Robert Rueca, a police spokesman, said police are investigating the incident as a hate crime. No suspects have been identified.

De Marchena, who noted Barhoum's "obsession with vintage cars," said on a Gofundme page created to raise money for the repainting, "Let's show the world that we can overcome homophobia, anti-Semitism and blind hatred by helping out."

The Gofundme page is at https://www.gofundme.com/together-against-a-hate-crime.

 

 

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