SAN ANTONIO – When Tom Cox put his political pride on display this election season, he never expected the reactions and acts of retaliation he has been receiving.
Cox decorated his lawn in the Oak Hollow Park subdivision that he shares with his partner of more than three decades with signs, showing their support for their chosen candidates in the upcoming election.
Recently, though, someone with a can of spray-paint has been pitching in with some unwelcome additions, messages that Cox fears are becoming more and more threatening.
“It just, it makes me nervous,” Cox said. “My husband and I have been together going on 31 years, so we’ve lived through a lot together.”
Never before, Cox said, have they seen the kind of trouble that is creeping closer to their front door with each incident.
He said about two-and-a-half weeks ago, someone initially spray-painted “Trump” along the curb of his driveway, and covered his political signs in scribble.
About a week after that, he says, the vandal came back and covered the freshly-scrubbed curb with the words, “Leav (sic) Texas,” in black paint.
Cox says the vandal came closer to home than ever before and spray-painted an order for him to “move out” on their garage door.
The latest attack, Cox said, happened during broad-daylight and was captured by his surveillance camera.
“Straight up, Noon is when the Ring camera caught the guy," Cox said. "He hit the signs again and then the garage door. “He started by the street and he’s moved closer. Now he’s at the house, which to me feels like it’s escalating.”
Cox says the attacks feel more personal now, and he suspects they could have more to do with his sexual orientation rather than his political affiliation.
Hanging outside his front door is a super-sized, rainbow-colored flag, supporting Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden.
Cox believes what that flag symbolizes could be what is setting off the vandal.
“I don’t know that anybody else has been targeted in the neighborhood in this way,” Cox said.
While he says other neighbors have had their signs defaced, he believes the messages at his home are especially vicious.
Cox said he has filed several reports with the San Antonio Police Department and wants his case to be considered a hate crime.
“I just want him caught, and I want him punished, and I want it to stop,” Cox said.
A public information officer with SAPD told KSAT 12 News on Tuesday morning that the reported crimes are still under investigation.
Cox said he hopes that happens sooner rather than later and before anyone gets hurt.