A fight between neighbors escalated into hate crime and firearm charges in a Florida neighborhood.
On March 28, law enforcement officials were called after three gunshots were heard in a Lake County, Florida, housing subdivision.
After deputies arrived around 2:30 a.m., 54-year-old Mansoor Karbakhsh allegedly ran away and locked himself inside his garage, The Orlando Sentinel reports. While attempting to flee, he left the trunk of his vehicle open.
Lake County deputies discovered cans of blue and black spray paint in the trunk, which reportedly matched the paint used to vandalize the property belonging to Karbakhsh’s next-door neighbor.
"It was pretty disgusting," the homeowner told WFTV News.
The victim, who requested to remain anonymous, suffered approximately $200 in damages after Karbakhsh allegedly used the spray paint to mark his garage and mailbox and write "KKK" on his trash cans. According to the arrest report, the paint job appeared to be freshly done, The Sentinel notes.
"The KKK was a total shock to me [and] totally without merit," the neighbor told WFTV News. "It was all very ugly."
The victim said the feud with Karbakhsh started the previous day. The suspect’s car was illegally parked and towed by the area’s Home Owner’s Association.
"His car was parked on the side, there was no tag attached to it and it was legal for them to tow it," the homeowner said.
The arrest report noted that when Karbakhsh discovered his vehicle had been towed, he "became somewhat aggressive towards [the neighbor]," according to The Orlando Sentinel. The victim reported having nothing to do with the towing of Karbakhsh’s car but believes the suspect blamed him for the incident.
Later that day, the neighbor told deputies he heard gunshots while getting ready for bed. Neighbors called emergency services and officers found three shell casings in the vicinity. Karbakhsh’s wife told law enforcement officials that her husband owned a handgun.
Deputies spoke with Karbakhsh about the dispute with his neighbor. They reported he smelled of alcohol and became "very belligerent and uncooperative."
The 54-year-old was charged with discharging a firearm on residential property and criminal mischief hate crime. While on the way to Lake County Jail, Karbakhsh wished harm on the officials’ families and mumbled racial slurs about another neighbor.
"For that to surface here and in this year and in my yard [is] just despicable," the victim told WFTV News.
Karbakhsh posted a $2,000 bond and was released.
There is no evidence that Karbakhsh is part of any hate group, according to police.