Leesburg man accused of harassing neighbors with homophobic slurs, faces hate crime charge

Frank Norviel, 57, arrested Tuesday

Frank Norviel, 57 (Lake County Sheriff's Office)

LEESBURG, Fla. – A Leesburg man was arrested in a Taser-involved tussle on Tuesday, accused of stalking and harassing a couple living next door to him due to their sexual orientation, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Frank Norviel, 57, was the subject of the couple’s initial stalking complaint Thursday, Jan. 5, deputies said. According to a probable cause affidavit, Norviel had been harassing the couple for several months, “primarily based on their sexual orientation.” Norviel would shine lights and shout slurs at the couple while he either stood along the fence dividing their properties or passed by on a bicycle, deputies said.

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In one of the few examples of harassment that can be quoted here verbatim, deputies noted how they were told Norviel in September 2022 screamed “It’s not Adam and Steve” at the victims, repeatedly squeaking a rubber chicken in his yard. Another example involved one of the victim’s children, a juvenile boy who Norviel allegedly threatened by stating he would kill the couple’s cat and eat it with teriyaki sauce; when the boy told Norviel not to hurt the cat, the man told the child to “shut up” and suggested they perform sex acts on their parent “like they trained you to do,” the affidavit states.

The victims’ complaint led to the granting of two temporary injunctions for protection. Those injunctions stated Norviel could not come within 10 feet of the couple’s vehicles, according to the affidavit.

Deputies were back the next morning due to Norviel allegedly violating those injunctions, with deputies citing security footage they said showed the 57-year-old hoisting a pair of dirty underwear above the victims’ driveway with a long bamboo pole and placing a white cross on top of their fence, facing the victims’ residence.

After nightfall Tuesday, a Lake County deputy canvassing the area saw lights and noises coming from the back yard of Norviel’s residence. The deputy stated they approached the home to get a better look, stepping into the front yard as Norviel emerged from the residence to confront them. Norviel began screaming at the deputy, accusing them of trespassing as he retreated back into the home.

The deputy identified themselves before grabbing one of Norviel’s arms in order to stop him from barricading himself, the affidavit states. Norviel tried to push away, prompting the deputy to grab both of the man’s arms, sending both to the ground; the deputy called for assistance and managed to get one hand cuff on Norviel before the 57-year-old freed that hand, swinging the cuffs and leaving bloody lacerations on the deputy’s arm, according to the affidavit.

The deputy warned Norviel that they would use their Taser if he didn’t stop resisting, shortly following up on that promise as the man attempted to re-engage them, receiving two electrified prongs to the chest, the affidavit states.

Norviel faces charges of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, three counts of resisting an officer without violence, two counts of violating an injunction of protection and two counts of aggravated stalking with hate crime enhancements, records show.

He is currently being held on no bond in Lake County, with his next court date set for February 6.

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About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.