FBI investigates Gaston hate crime

FBI investigates Gaston hate crime

April 30, 2010 9:21 PM
Corey Friedman

LOWELL — A hangman’s noose stopped Allen Doug McGee from tying the knot.

Tension that followed the discovery of violent threats scrawled on the side of McGee’s home and a noose and brick left on his front porch strained his relationship with fiancée Cyd McDaniel to the breaking point. She recently gave him his ring back.

“She broke my heart,” McGee said Friday. “I still love the girl. It’s off. It’s done. It’s over.”

The white auto mechanic became the target of vandalism because of his relationship with McDaniel, who is black. Police and federal investigators call the case a hate crime, but more than a month after a hanging stick figure and the words “We will burn you out” were found spray-painted on McGee’s home, no arrests have been made.

“My personal opinion is they’re never going to catch anybody,” McGee said, “because I’m sure whoever it is is going to keep their mouth shut. I hope they do catch whoever done it, I really do.”

On Feb. 23, McGee found a noose, note and brick on his front porch. He said the note stated, “We don’t approve. End it.”

That discovery wasn’t reported to Lowell police until the morning of March 25, after McGee’s then-11-year-old son noticed the graffiti on the side of the house.

Police Chief Mark Buchanan said officers were unable to develop any strong suspects. McGee wasn’t as cooperative as he could have been, he said.

“I think there’s some personal information he doesn’t want to tell us,” said Buchanan. “He knows more than he’ll tell, and it sort of ties our hands.”

McGee maintains that he doesn’t know who wrote the note left with the noose or who vandalized his house. He quickly set straight an FBI agent who expressed similar skepticism.

“They asked me if I knew who it was,” McGee recalled. “I said, ‘No, if I did, I’d be in jail.’”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Charlotte field office requested a copy of the Lowell Police Department incident report two days after the hate crime was reported, Buchanan said.

An FBI agent interviewed McGee April 19 at the Charlotte auto body and paint shop where he works. The mechanic said he spent about an hour with the investigator, who “doesn’t know if there’ll be much more out of it.”

McGee said he’s even done his own sleuthing, but his efforts have turned up more questions than answers. So he’s repainted his house and workshop and is trying to move on with his life.

“I just want it calmed down,” he said. “I want everything to go back to the way it was.”

A sturdy, barrel-chested man with thick arms, McGee isn’t afraid of whoever threatened his life. He warns the “coward” to stay away for his or her own safety.

“Ain’t nobody going to run me out of my house,” he said. “If I catch someone, I’m not going to call the cops. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. That’s the way it should be.”


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