HOLIDAY — Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said he wants a 58-year-old man accused of breaking into a home to face hate crime charges after the man made threatening statements against a family of Iraqi descent.
David Allen Boileau told a deputy that if he couldn't get rid of his neighbors, according to an arrest report, that "Trump will handle it."
Nocco announced the arrest at a Wednesday news conference because he said he wanted to tell the community that his agency will not tolerate any crimes driven by prejudice.
"We have to send a clear message out there," Nocco said, "and that message is it doesn't matter your race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office is going to uphold the laws and make sure everyone is safe."
The sheriff said Boileau is being investigated for an earlier incident that took place Monday. Nocco said his agency will also work with the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office and the FBI to see if the charges should be escalated under hate crime statutes.
Boileau recently moved into 3434 Pinehurst Drive. The family he targeted lived there for three years without incident, the Sheriff's Office said.
The first incident between Boileau and his neighbors took place Monday, the agency said, when he threw nails, screws or both in the road in an attempt to puncture the tires of a relative of the family.
"The U.S. needs to rid the country of all of them," Boileau told a deputy on Monday, according to a report. "We'll get rid of them one way or another."
Then at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, a neighbor who was aware of the previous incident said he saw Boileau approach the family's home, yell through the windows, then walk around it.
Next, the neighbor said he saw Boileau walk out the front door. The neighbor started recording video and told Boileau he was calling the police. The video quality was poor, however, and did not capture Boileau leaving the house.
When a deputy arrived, Boileau was handcuffed and read his rights. Boileau told the deputy that he entered the home through an unlocked door, exited through the front door and checked the family's mailbox.
No one was home at the time of the house. When the homeowner returned, she told deputies she was missing a wallet that had credit cards, gift cards and a debit card.
No such items were found on Boileau, and he told deputies he took nothing. He faces a charge of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling and had an outstanding arrest warrant for a charge of petty theft from Highlands County.
"David uttered several statements of his dislike for people of Middle Eastern descent prior to being read his Miranda Warning," the deputy wrote in the arrest report. Records show Boileau has a history of arrests on charges such as domestic violence, battery and burglary going back to 1995.
Nocco said he was especially concerned because the family that was targeted has four small children.
"He said he does not like them, he wished they weren't in his community," the sheriff said. "Which is ironic because he's the one who moved into our community."