Florida man pleads guilty to burning cross in interracial couple's yard
A Florida man has pleaded guilty to a charge in connection with burning a cross in the front yard of an interracial couple, the Department of Justice has announced.
Thomas H. Sigler III, a 45-year-old from New Port Richey, entered the plea Friday to one count of conspiring with others to threaten, intimidate and interfere with an interracial couple’s housing rights in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Citing court documents, the DOJ release said that an interracial couple moved into to a predominantly white community on Seward Drive in Port Richey where Sigler lived in 2012. Sigler “harassed the African-American neighbor with racial slurs and derogatory statements” and assaulted him, according to the DOJ.
At a party on Halloween night, Sigler and several other community residents decided to burn a cross in the interracial couple’s front yard, according to the DOJ, and the goal was to intimidate the couple and force them to move.