Via press release from the Justice Department:
An Oregon man was sentenced today to 37 months in prison and three years of supervised release for attempting to run over three people with a car as part of a week-long crime spree targeting the LGBTQI+ community around Boise, Idaho, in October 2022.
According to court records, on Oct. 8, 2022, while at the Boise Public Library Main Branch in downtown Boise, Matthew Alan Lehigh, 31, approached a transgender library employee, called her a slur, punched her and threatened to stab her.
A member of the library’s security staff intervened, and Lehigh fled into the parking lot. When the security guard attempted to speak to Lehigh in the parking lot, Lehigh got into a car and suddenly accelerated it toward the guard, intending to collide with him.
The guard narrowly escaped being struck by jumping behind a concrete barricade at the last moment, and Lehigh fled the scene.
Four days later, while sitting in his car in a public parking lot elsewhere in Boise, Lehigh saw two women walking together towards another vehicle.
Assuming that the women were lesbians, Lehigh began shouting threats and slurs at them, then suddenly accelerated his car toward the women, intending to collide with them. The women jumped out of the path of Lehigh’s oncoming car, which struck the other vehicle at significant speed.
On June 15, 2022, Lehigh pleaded guilty to one felony count of violating the Hate Crimes Prevention Act for the vehicular assault on the library security guard, and a second felony violation for the vehicular assault on the two women.
As part of his plea agreement, Lehigh also admitted that he was responsible for three other instances of anti-LGBTQI+ vandalism and violence that occurred in Boise during early October 2022.
Specifically, he admitted to setting fire to a rainbow-striped “pride” flag attached to a residential property in North Boise, breaking several windows at a commercial building jointly occupied by an LGBTQI+ community organization and an LGBTQI+-affirming religious congregation and punching a grocery store customer after calling him an anti-LGBTQI+ slur.
Read the full press release.
— Mickaela Castillo (@Mickaelatv) June 16, 2023