BOONE, Iowa — A Boone man was arrested Tuesday after allegedly leaving handwritten notes reading, “Burn that gay flag,” at four different houses here Saturday.
Robert Clark Geddes, 25, of 1814 Eighth St., Boone, was charged with four counts of trespassing to commit a hate crime and four counts of third-degree harassment.
Investigators determined that the four notes were “linked together by consistent handwriting, matching paper tear marks and marker bleed through on each page,” according to court records.
The victims were “annoyed and alarmed” by the notes, and Geddes “had no legitimate purpose to be on the property other than commit a public offense,” according to court records.
One of the victims posted an image of the note on Facebook Saturday and said, “Our youngest found this on the front door today and was scared someone would come to burn our house down.”
Boone City Council member Elijah Stines was another victim of the alleged hate crimes.
“Let me be very clear,” Stines said Saturday on Facebook. “I will never back down from standing up for the lives of my LGBTQ friends, family, constituents and all members of our community. My house was one of five locations in my ward alone that I know of that received a similar cowardly note this weekend. To everyone in the Boone LGBTQ community: There are so many more people here who will stand with you and ensure your safety than would threaten it. Call on us any time!”
Geddes is held in the Boone County Jail on a $1,000 cash or surety bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing July 2 in Boone County District Court.
*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.