OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - An Oceanside man returned home to an unwelcome sight: a gay slur spray-painted across his garage door.
Amid the tranquility of the Oceana South senior community, something ugly happened.
"I didn't expect this ... it hurts a lot," said Earls, choking back tears.
For Earls, his emotions have been hard to control since he returned home on Pear Blossom Avenue past 7 p.m. Sunday. That's when he discovered a gay slur in black spray paint. Earls is openly gay.
"I just don't understand why people are so cruel. It just took me back to my childhood and the bullies on the playground," said Earls.
The discovery was not a complete surprise. In the past few months, Earls says several neighbors have directed the same gay slur at him while walking near his home.
"One neighbor was muttering it quietly as she walks by. Another neighbor was the same person I saw near the garage when I discovered the slur," said Earls.
Amid all the pain, something remarkable happened. After police arrived, a stranger came up to him.
"A man handed me an envelope, hugged me and said he loved me ... Inside was $500 and a note asking the money to be used for a reward. Shows there are good people. I have a lot of great neighbors," said Earls.
Earls has told police about which neighbors have used the slurs before. He is offering that $500 reward for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information is asked to 760-435-4900.