TAMPA, Florida — A Muslim-hating homeowner was sentenced to eight months in prison for threatening to burn a neighbor’s house to the ground rather than let a Muslim family buy it.
David Howard, 59, was accused of accosting Kaderbhai Ali Asgar and his wife in 2016 as they were doing the final walk through before plunking down $658,000 to buy the house next door on David Islands in Tampa, Florida, prosecutors said.
“This sale will not take place,” Howard said, according to court documents. “I will break all of your f—— windows and I will burn your f—— house down.”
The outburst so unnerved Asgar that he and his wife backed out of the sale and lost their $30,000 deposit.
Howard pleaded guilty in February to a felony civil rights violation and now has been sentenced to eight months behind bars, two years probation and $30,000 in restitution.
“This Justice Department will not stand by when individuals use violence and intimidation to deny fair housing rights,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore. “The Civil Rights Division will continue to prosecute crimes like this one that deprive families of a safe place to live.”
Howard testified that his outburst was driven by testosterone supplements he takes because he has AIDS. He claimed he was not racist, although he said he was not fond of Muslims as he had lost a loved one in the September 11 attack.
Prosecutors say Howard later boasted to friends and neighbors about driving the couple out and made derogatory remarks about Muslims.
Asgar said that he was very pleased at the punishment Howard received.
“I’m very happy that the judge did a very fair judgement,” Asgar said after court.