A local man says he was verbally harassed and his car seriously vandalized -- and he believes it's yet another hate crime.
Adam Salnardi says he had just pulled into his friend's driveway on Southeast Johnson Creek Boulevard on Sunday night, when a group of six men approached, started shouting gay slurs and beating his car.
"They were jumping on my car, kicking it, popped my tires," said Salnardi, who was still sitting in the driver's seat at the time. "If they would have gotten to me, I could have been hurt."
Salnardi says he recognized one of the suspects, but has no idea why he would be targeted. He believes it may have been a hate crime because of the names he was called.
"It's upsetting," said Salnardi. "It upsets me. I know it upsets all my friends who are also gay. They're scared for their safety as well."
Salnardi's friend says she witnessed the attack and ran inside to get help. The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office is investigating the crime and working to track down and identify the people involved. Deputies are still working to determine whether it is, in fact, a hate crime.
"He really seriously could have been hurt," said Erica Combs, a friend of Salnardi, who's grateful he wasn't injured in the attack. "Hopefully, we can find them and justice will be served."
However, now Salnardi's out of a car. He says the damage is estimated at a couple thousand dollars.
"I just bought this car too, two months ago," he said. "Now look at it."
Meanwhile, Portland police are still investigating four possible bias crimes in recent weeks.
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