LAKE ODESSA, Mich. (WOOD) — The owner a Lake Odessa company let loose with a Facebook tirade against members of the LGBT community that included threats of violence.
The response from the social media community has forced him to take down the Facebook page for his Ionia County landscape business and disable his other online presence.
24 Hour News 8 spoke with a woman who led the charge who said this business owner crossed the line separating free speech and hate speech.
“You can have an opinion but you don’t need to be a person who’s threatening to shoot children and adults,” she said.
Lo, who asked to not have her last name used, said she knows the man, Anthony Vasquez, from the small town of Lake Odessa where they both live.
Earlier this week, she became unnerved when she saw some of the posts from his Facebook account.
The first said, “I’m so sick of school shooters and lost genders. I say kill them all.” Others used profane slurs and repeatedly called for people to be hung or shot, bullets to the head and once said he would “pay to see them die.”
Lo saw his personal page linked to his business.
“If you say that you would pay to have somebody shot for their sexual orientation, then quite frankly, I guess the best way to make sure that that doesn’t happen is to make sure that everybody knows where their money is going,” Lo said.
It didn’t take long for people to notice and for it to influence his business, as its rating dropped from more than 4-of-5 to 1.1.
“I was surprised how quickly that score dropped,” Lo said. “People are not impressed. It’s not OK.”
24 Hour News 8 attempted to contact Vasquez through phone calls, texts and by going to his home and business, but he would not respond or come out.
However, Lo said she talked to him via text. She said Vasquez told her he was going to file a police report for harassment.
Authorities said there is an investigation taking place by the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office.
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