A jury found 34-year-old Kyle Christiansen out of Dayton, Florida guilty of committing hate crimes against a family living in New Smyrna Beach on Tuesday, reports Click Orlando. Christiansen was arrested in September 2020 after he was suspected of spray painting racist Asian slurs on two cars and leaving nails under the tires in July 2020. Evidence found Christiansen committed the crimes because of the victim’s race.
On July 29, 2020, two vehicles belonging to a male and his sister-in-law were spray-painted in orange with racist Asian slurs, reports The Daytona Beach News Journal. Additionally, nails were found in the driveway.
The male victim’s wife said Christiansen was a patient of hers at her dental practice, according to the affidavit. Christiansen was a new patient and got his teeth cleaned. However, she said when he arrived he looked surprised that she was Asian. She has a last name that isn’t Asian and she thought Christiansen was expecting a white doctor.
“He kept on saying this office isn’t what it seems and he would never expand on that and so that was that,” the wife said.
According to her, he became extremely rude to her and her dental assistant causing her to cry. However, the wife chalked it up to nerves over his dental treatment.
The next day on July 24th, she received a Facebook message from “Pine Cone” which had a picture of a squirrel. According to the affidavit, the message told her she and her husband needed to die and contained Asian slurs derogatory against Vietnamese people.
Authorities traced the Facebook account to Kyle Christiansen. Investigators also found the “Pine Cone” Facebook user sent threatening messages to the Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines in May and September 2020. The messages said he was going to stab the first Filipino person he saw because he didn’t like the way his brother was treated in the Philippines.
Authorities also found security video of a car registered to Christiansen’s family driving by the family’s home when the vandalism occurred.
Kyle Christiansen is scheduled to be sentenced on July 13th and could face up to 30 years in prison. He was found guilty of two counts of criminal mischief in the third degree with the addition of hate crime enhancements. Without the hate crime enhancements, he faced up to five years in prison for each count but now those charges have been upgraded to second-degree felonies which carry prison time up to 15 years in prison each.