September 20 - SAN ANTONIO -- A woman, who did not want to be identified, said she is the victim of a hate crime, and she said she is too scared to go back to her apartment in the Chapel Ridge Apartments in the 7200 block of Snowden Road. According to her lease, she had lived in the apartment complex for only six days when she said she came home from her job on Aug. 30 and discovered she was the victim of vandalism that appeared to be a hate crime.
"The place was just destroyed," the woman said. "I was scared. I thought somebody was in there going to get me." She said someone poured vegetable oil and lotion on her clothes, threw her medications and digital camera in the toilet, slashed the cords on her electronic equipment and spray-painted gay slurs on the walls. There were no signs of forced entry, police said. The woman said she doesn't know if the culprit was someone she knew.
"It's a scary, ugly feeling to feel like they would do that to me because of my orientation," she said. A police report was filed, and the damage caused was estimated at $6,000. The woman said she has since found a new place to live, but she said Chapel Ridge required 60 days notice to get out of her lease, which meant she would still have to pay more than $1,000 in rent.
"I'm not choosing to move out. I'm moving out because I was scared, so I think that's excessive," the woman said. When contacted by KSAT, Chapel Ridge management said it was already working with the woman and would make an exception to let the victim out of the lease without the required 60 days notice. The woman said she was relieved to overcome one hurdle but knows there are others ahead of her.
"A lot of my things were destroyed. I have to start all over again, and I'm afraid to live by myself again," the woman said. The Chapel Ridge complex is the same place where vehicles were repeatedly vandalized over the summer. Police said a resident of the complex was charged with those incidents. Apartment managers said they're confident the vandal in the latest incident does not live in the community, and they said the negative attention caused by the vandalism is unfair because they're doing what they can to make the community safe.
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