Florida man gets 8 months in prison for threatening Muslim family

Florida man gets 8 months in prison for threatening Muslim family
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A Florida man is going to prison after reportedly threatening a Muslim family who was planning to move into the neighborhood he lived in.

David H. Howard of Tampa Bay, Fla., was sentenced to eight months in prison on Tuesday after pleading guilty to a violation of the Fair Housing Act, according to The Washington Post.

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The Fair Housing Act is a civil rights law that outlaws threatening or interfering with someone's housing rights due to race or religion. 

Howard's sentencing stemmed from a 2016 incident in which he verbally attacked a Muslim family planning on moving into a home near his. 

Kaderbhai Ali Asgar, who moved to the U.S. from India with his wife, arrived at the house they planned to purchase in 2016 for a final walkthrough. Asgar was wearing a topi, a religious cap, and his wife and mother-in-law were wearing headscarves. 

The sight prompted Howard to yell at the family, shouting “this sale will not take place,” according to court documents obtained by the Post. 

“I will break all of your f--king windows and I will burn your f--king house down!" Howard added. 

Court documents show that Howard later made insulting statements about Muslims and asked a mover if he was moving the “dotheads.” 

The Post reports that the family canceled their purchase because they no longer felt safe. Howard was ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution to Asgar in addition to his sentence. The restitution fee is for the deposit that Asgar and his family lost when they canceled the closing on the home.

Asgar has also filed a civil lawsuit against Howard in addition to another neighbor. 

“Crimes perpetrated against people because of who they are or what they believe simply cannot be tolerated," U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez said in a statement to the Post.