Homophobic threat posted on Orlando traffic sign

Message posted near intersection of Lake Nona Boulevard, Nemours Parkway

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando police said they’re investigating and confirming a homophobic threat that was posted on a digital traffic sign in Lake Nona that read “Kill all gays.”

Police say the threat was posted on a sign at Lake Nona Blvd. and Nemours Pkwy. around 3:45 a.m. on Wednesday and that the sign appeared to have been tampered with.

“It’s the first thing you see when you enter Lake Nona, so you don’t want to see that hate being spread,” said Nico Cardoso, who lives nearby.

A News 6 crew saw the sign being hauled away by workers hours later.

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“We just know somebody got in there, did something unfortunate they shouldn’t have done, but the reason it happened was because the messaging box where you type in the messages was unlocked,” Orlando Commissioner Jim Gray said.

Gray, who covers this district, said the vendor, Flash-Rite, originally posted messaging about an upcoming 5k – and that someone somehow altered the messaging overnight because the box was open.

“We’ve told the vendor in the future that everything needs to be locked or else we’ll find a new vendor,” Gray said.

Janelle Martinez lives nearby and said, “It should be something that’s taken more care of and not something that’s so easily accessible.”

News 6 is also asking Orlando police if this kind of incident would fall under a new bill the governor signed into law last month that makes it a more punishable crime if someone projects hateful messages onto private property without permission. Police said the investigation is ongoing.

News 6 has reached out to Flash-Rite several times to see what steps they’re taking to make sure this doesn’t happen again, but have not yet heard back.

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About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.