Vandals Turn U-Haul Truck Into “Improvised” Firebomb, Try To Attack Wichita Pride

"It’s 2016. Gay people shouldn’t have to be facing things like that.”

A rental truck used by Equality Kansas at Wichita Pride was tampered with by vandals hoping to turn the vehicle into a firebomb.

Staffers at the September 26 event attempted to return the truck to U-Haul when they noticed it wasn’t starting. A U-Haul mechanic noticed the battery cable had been cut and a gas can and drill bit were found under the vehicle, which was parked outside Equality Kansas’ Wichita office.

Seattle, WA. A U-Haul van outside some apartments. (Photo by: Newscast/UIG via Getty Images)
Newscast/UIG via Getty

Police do not have a suspect or motive as yet, but EK director Thomas Witt believes it was an attempt to harm the city’s LGBT community.

“Somebody tried to turn a vehicle that was parked here at our building into an improvised incendiary device,” he told the Wichita Eagle. “I’m angry. It’s 2016. Gay people shouldn’t have to be facing things like that.”

He added that, while the group is beefing up security, they won’t be deterred.

“It’s ridiculous to think they’re going to terrorize us into stopping what we’re doing. We’re not going to stop.”

There have been several notable attacks on LGBT communities across the country this year: Just hours after the devastating shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, a California man was arrested with assault rifles and explosives en route to L.A. Pride.

Other threats were made against Pride events in Houston, San Francisco and Atlanta.

h/t: International Business Times

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.