PHOENIX, AZ — A Phoenix mall security guard says a tire on his SUV was recently slashed and flattened by a teen who took exception to the Make America Great Again hat on the console. Nick Dugas, who works at the Paradise Valley Mall, did some detective work to find out who did it.
He reviewed security video and saw the teen and three others pull into a parking spot next to his SUV. They got out of their car, and two of them looked inside his vehicle. The video showed that when they returned to their vehicle, one of them was carrying a cup from Dutch Bros. Coffee, which has a store at Paradise Valley Mall.
One member of the group stood watch while the teen with the coffee cup sawed a three-inch gash into his tire, the video showed.
The teen was charged with criminal damage and will pay a $750 fine after she admitted she disagreed with the political message on the MAGA hat, Phoenix police Sgt. Vincent Lewis told the Arizona Republic.
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To determine her identity, Dugas checked Dutch Bros. Coffee’s Instagram account, scrolled through the followers and found a teen who looked like the one shown in the security video. He called the store, and learned the group are regular customers. His next call was to police.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Yahoo Lifestyle that the incident happened as Dugas described it.
“She admitted to slashing his tires because of the MAGA hat. I think the hat made her mad,” a spokesperson told Yahoo. “She was issued a citation in lieu of detention. There was damage done to the tire that required repair.”
Dugas was incredulous about the incident, but forgiving.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine being the victim of pure hate because of my belief,” he told Yahoo.
In a court statement, he wrote:
“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.”