McKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Hundreds of North Texans are rallying around a McKinney resident who said he was the victim of a hate crime in his own neighborhood.
Michael Heard said he was targeted at a popular pizza place on Monday. Heard said that after sitting down at McKinney Pizza Tavern, he and his husband were yelled at by a group of men at a nearby table.
“They’re like ‘look at those queens, queers,’” Heard said. Kevin Hardy, Heard’s husband, said the men got progressively louder.
Heard said the words became more explicit and then one of the men approached him. “He came around over to me and pushed me and then I pushed him back. That’s when the bartender was able to push him back.”
Heard said management told the man to leave. McKinney police responded and gave him a criminal trespass warning. Heard did not want to press charges.
Will Kuhn, the restaurant’s owner later released this statement —
“On behalf of our staff and ownership I would like to strongly condemn the actions of the individual who attacked our customers today. The staff along with McKinney Police Department acted quickly and professionally to remove and criminally trespass the individual. We have no room for hate at McKinney Pizza Tavern.”
Heard said once everything was over he cried, not because he was hurt but because there was an overwhelming show of support after he posted about what happened to him and his husband on his community’s Facebook page.
“It was nice to feel the support and love out of 300 comments,” Heard said.
Hardy said it was a good feeling. “People that didn’t know us stood up for the fact that it was wrong.”