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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 30, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 39
Hate crime targets Gay couple in West Seattle
Section One
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Hate crime targets Gay couple in West Seattle

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

'God Hates Fags! Get the fuck out of our neighborhood,' the note said.

The note was wrapped around a rock, and the rock was thrown through the back window of Lyle Evans' car as it sat in his driveway.

Evans and his partner, Chris Ilovar, live in a normally quiet residential area of West Seattle.

'The Junction is six blocks away up the hill,' Ilovar told SGN. 'There's a dog park across the street. The way the houses are situated here, we don't even see our neighbors that much. It's really a very quiet neighborhood.'

Just after midnight on September 24, Ilovar said, he and his partner were awakened by noises outside their house.

'We didn't know what it was,' Ilovar recalled. 'Our first thoughts were a sprinkler trying to go off or something involving our cat.'

Evans turned on their porch lights and opened their front door, but saw nothing out of the ordinary.

'Ten minutes later, that same noise again happened,' Ilovar continued, 'and I quickly moved the drapes to get a better look. I did see shadows running south on 50th Avenue, but didn't see any faces.'

Ilovar went out to inspect the property and noticed that both their cars had windows broken out - his windshield and his partner's rear window. Their tires had also been slashed.

Ilovar called 911. Seattle police say there was a patrol car already at the West Seattle Junction and officers were able to respond within minutes of the call.

As police searched the cars for evidence, they found the rock with the typed note still wrapped around it. The note read:

God Hates Fags!
Get the fuck out of our neighborhood.
The bible says God forbids men committing indecent act with other men.
Pack up your shit and get you gay shit out.

The note was signed 'KKK.'


The officers who first responded to Ilovar's call then summoned a superior officer, Sgt. Mary Unger, who in turn summoned the watch commander, Lt. Allen Williams.

An officer said in an aside to Ilovar, 'They're taking this very seriously. They don't usually bring a Lieutenant out.'

Seattle police spokesperson Mark Jamieson confirmed to SGN that 'there's an ongoing investigation, and the case has been assigned to the bias crimes detective.'

Jamieson declined to comment on the 'KKK' signature when asked if police believe there is organized Klan activity in West Seattle.

'I don't think it's appropriate to comment,' he said. 'That would be speculation - which is something we wouldn't do. Until we have someone in custody, I can't say if it's credible or not.'

Ilovar, on the other hand, was bemused by the signature.

'I kind of had to chuckle,' he told SGN. ' I thought, 'Really? How '70s is that?' It's odd they went to that. & Does that mean they're older? I don't think young people even know what the KKK is.'

Ilovar is also puzzled why he and his partner would be targeted.

'Why the two of us? I don't know,' he said. 'With all the Gay people in West Seattle - we just don't know. We don't have any stickers on our cars.

'We moved in four and a half years ago. There's a couple across the street that have lived there for years. It just surprises me when we're such an accepting community.

'Vandalism, OK. You want to smash windows, OK, I get it. Kids do that. But to surround it with a hate note & it's ignorant and hateful.'

Ilovar and his partner live 'a pretty normal life,' he said, but they plan to make a few changes in the wake of their experience.

One practical measure will be to install better lighting. Neighbors reported seeing two men dressed in black walking through a dark back alley, but they were unable to describe the men's faces.

Ilovar and Evans also want the community to know their story.

'We bought a rainbow flag yesterday to put in front of our house,' Ilovar said. 'We're not hiding from this. We want to get this out to the community.'

The couple has been surprised and gratified at the support they have received already, both from neighbors and total strangers.

'We've gotten an outpouring of support,' Ilovar told SGN. 'When the story went on the West Seattle Blog, there were so many supportive comments. It takes your breath away!

'A church in Renton offered us a donation to pay for our cars,' Ilovar continued. 'They said, 'We want you to know that's not what Christians believe. That's not what we preach.' Neighbors have offered us money. Tuesday night, someone left a gift bag on our doorstep.'

Ilovar says he and his partner appreciate the offers, but they would prefer that donations go to community organizations to help combat anti-Gay bigotry.

'We can afford to take care of the cars,' he said. 'I just don't want to see this happen again to other people.'

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