David Allen Boileau kept saying, “the U.S. needs to get rid of all of them,” meaning Middle Easterners, according to police, but for the time being he was focused on getting rid of the neighbors.
The neighbors were an Iraqi family, four children and their mother. They had lived in their neighborhood in Holiday, Fla., longer than Boileau had, said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco. But the 58-year-old seemed to be on a mission to force them out, going to new heights this week, Nocco said.
First, on Monday, he threw screws and nails at a vehicle pulling out of the family’s driveway, apparently in hopes of damaging the car or flattening the tires, according to a police report. “We’ll get rid of them one way or another,” he said during the incident, according to witnesses cited by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Then, on Tuesday, he burglarized their home, according to the police report.
When the cops arrived, called to the home by a watchful neighbor, Boileau said about the family: “They don’t belong here.”
“If [I don’t] get rid of them,” Boileau said, according to the police report, “Trump will handle it.”
Nocco said Wednesday that the case is now being investigated as a hate crime after Boileau admitted to walking into their home and then rifling through their mail, all while denigrating Middle Eastern immigrants and making clear that he felt it was his personal duty to oust the family. He was charged with burglary Tuesday but has denied taking anything from the home. The mother said her wallet was missing from her purse when she arrived home from picking up her children from school, though it was not recovered on Boileau when he was arrested.
Nocco said his office has contacted the FBI.
“He said he does not like them,” Nocco said, describing Boileau as openly “anti-Middle Eastern.” “He wished they weren’t in the community — which is ironic, because he’s the one who moved into our community.”
It all unfolded Tuesday as Lonny Cox, another neighbor, was sitting inside his garage when he looked up to see a man, apparently Boileau, snooping around the Iraqi family’s house. He seemed to be peering into the windows, banging on them and yelling things, Cox told police.
Cox saw him walk around the side of the house and lost sight of him. The next thing he knew, Boileau was walking out from the family’s front door. He waltzed on over to their mailbox, looked inside and began rifling through the letters, Cox said, prompting him to call the cops.
When police arrived, they saw Boileau walking alongside the road. According to the report, he told police that, yes, he had gone into the family’s home through the unlocked back door and, yes, looked through their mail after leaving through the front door. He claimed he spotted “immigration paperwork."
“This family was living here peacefully,” Nocco said. “Those children should feel welcomed in this community. This is something that’s just absolutely horrific.”
Nocco said the family had lived at the residence for three years, longer than Boileau, but said it was unclear when exactly Boileau arrived.
Boileau’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.