PHOENIX, AZ—A 18-year old woman admitted to police to slashing the tire of a stranger’s SUV after seeing a “Make America Great Again” hat inside the vehicle.
The reason the woman slashed the tire was “because she saw a hat with a political message inside the vehicle which she disagreed with, ” said Phoenix Police Department spokesman Sgt. Vincent Lewis.
The owner of the SUV, Nick Dugas, told The Arizona Republic, he was able to obtain surveillance footage of the parking lot because he is a retail security manager at Paradise Valley Mall. In the footage, Dugas found the other driver parked next to his SUV. She squatted next to his tire and had one of her three passengers scan the parking lot until the left side of the SUV dropped and they drove away.
Dugas noticed the driver held a red beverage from a Dutch Bros. Coffee across the street. After speaking with the manager, he discovered the woman was a regular which prompted a search on the coffee establishment’s Instagram page. Dugas was able to recognize one of the followers as the tire slasher.
According to Dugas, the tire replacement cost $300 and resulted in him missing a birthday dinner for his mother.
The woman was not booked, but was cited for criminal damage, a class 2 misdemeanor and could face up to four months in jail and will have to pay a $750 fine.
In a court statement, Dugas forgave the woman writing:
“In this case, the right thing to do is to forgive you rather than spill hatred onto you like you did to me. Rather than wish upon you the same fear you wished upon me that day. But I really hope that you are listening. Just because I have a different yet equally as important view as you do, it doesn’t EVER give you the right to spew hate, cause fear, and interrupt someone else’s life.”