A man in Oklahoma City was nearly killed when his car blew up in front of him last night in what appears to be a hate crime. According to Jon Ferguson, he was woken up in the middle of the night by his car alarm, and when he went outside it was being vandalized by several people. Upon approaching them, the vandals threw something into the car, making it explode. Ferguson was rushed to the hospital with first and second degree burns.
The remains of the car suggest that the attack was a hate crime — the vandals spray-painted the homophobic slur “fag” on the hood. Ferguson, who is openly gay, spoke about how the threat of violence has made him doubt whether coming out was a good idea:
FERGUSON:It’s almost not worth being proud of who you are and trying to show you’re gay because stuff like this really does happen. I’ve always seen it on the news that kids are dying and stuff because they’re being bullied, and you’re 25 years old and something like this happens to you. It’s almost not worth it, and you understand why kids don’t come out of the closet.
The case is currently being investigated as an act of arson, not a hate crime. News 9 reported that the Oklahoma City Fire and Police Department will continue investigations if they think a hate crime was committed.