The man also slashed his roommate’s tires and ran from the police. (Envato)
A man in California threatened his two gay roommates with a knife while screaming homophobic slurs then pulled out a gun, because he thought one of them was in the bathroom.
Joe Martin Rodriguez, 40, from Santa Ana pleaded guilty to a felony count of criminal threats and a misdemeanour hate crime.
Santa Ana police corporal Anthony Bertagna told City News Service that on July 4 Rodriquez was in his apartment, which he shared with his two gay roommates, and became angry because he mistakenly believed one of them was in the bathroom.
He began banging on the door with a 8 to 9-inch silver blade knife with a brown handle while hurling homophobic slurs and threatening to kill both of his roommates.
He then pulled out a handgun, making more homophobic comments and threatening to kill them again.
When police were called, Rodriguez fled the apartment and slashed his roommate’s tires before jumping into a friend’s car and escaping.
Police followed the car and pulled them over, at which point Rodriguez jumped out and started to run away. He was tracked down by a police helicopter and arrested.
His sentencing is scheduled for January 16 2020 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
California law includes protections against hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
This year, Los Angeles became the first US jurisdiction to monitor the unnatural deaths of LGBT+ people, including murders and suicides.
Campaigners said the move will help them to track where the LGBT+ community are disproportionately affected by certain causes of death, including suicide and hate-motivated murders, when compared to the general population.
In the US, it is not a federal requirement for death records to monitor information concerning sexuality or gender identity.
This information will be included in medical examiners’ annual reports in LA, with a “focus on LGBTQ suicide rates, violent deaths, and hate crime incidents”.