Federal agents have charged a white Wisconsin man with a series of hate crimes. He’s alleged to have violated the civil rights of several Black and brown people to get them to move out of his neighborhood.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin has filed a criminal complaint against William McDonald for “willfully injuring, intimidating, or interfering with another’s housing rights because of their race, color, or national origin by force or threat of force.”
The claim states McDonald, a resident of West Allis, left racist notes on the windshields of individuals’ vehicles, slashed some of his neighbors’ tires, and wrote the N-word across a woman’s apartment door, hoping to force them to relocate out of their homes.
All the victims lived within a one-mile radius of each in or around the apartment complex McDonald lived in.
The feds believe these acts violate the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and constitute a hate crime.
He allegedly started terrorizing his neighbors on March 7, 2021, when he slashed a woman’s tires on her vehicle. The next day, the claim alleges, the windshield was broken.
On the windshield, McDonald left a note on a restaurant’s stationary, saying, “BETTER WATCH WHO THE F##K YOU TALK S##T TO UFLY FAT N##GER B##TCH! I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE. IF I SEE YOU AGAIN, I’LL SLASH YOUR F##KING THROAT. GET THE F##K BACK TO THE NORTHSIDE WHERE YOU BELONG F##KING N##GER!”
This note was followed by another threatening note, placed on her vehicle as it was parked outside the apartment complex on March 17, 2021, stating this was her “last warning.”
“Get the f##k outta my neighborhood,” he wrote. “Before I slash you s##t again.”
“No problem with Black people. Only problems with ghetto punk N##GERS like you!” The report states on this occasion, he slashed only her front tires.
He reportedly targeted an Afro-Hispanic family, a parent ( Puerto Rican) and child (African-American) later that year. They received on Oct. 29, 2021, a note stating they were being watched.
McDonald reportedly wrote, “Keep speeding + driving like the dumb disrespectful n##ger you are + next time it will be your windshield n##ger. Get the f##ck back to the ghetto n##ger northside + stay there.”
He ended the note saying for the parent to take all of her “monkey friends + family” back to the north side of the city. He added, “That’s where you belong,” as he slashed the tires on their vehicle also, authorities claim.
At the end of February 2022, like the other three residents, three additional victims, a couple and a child that lives with them, were intimidated with a note and by having their tires slashed. Their letter said, “Get the f##k out of MY neighborhood N##GER!”
The first note left for this family was on Feb. 4.
On Feb. 23, the couple’s vehicle was vandalized. McDonald allegedly broke the driver’s side window of their car. Five days later, their tires were slashed, and a second note was left saying “Keep speeding in MY neighborhood N##GER. Next time it will be your windshield. Get back to the north side piece of shit N##GER.”
At this point, the FBI was called in. Agents set up video surveillance in and around the complex to catch whoever had been sending the messages.
Authorities say McDonald continued to menace the couple. On March 13, the couple’s tires were slashed again. The third note found at the scene of the crime said, “You thought I was playing … Get the f##k back to the n##ger northside where you belong before I put sand in your gas tank n##ger.”
The couple took their concerns to the press and shared that the FBI had taken up the case.
Reginald Wilkerson, one of the victims, shared with local station Fox 5 News that since February they had experienced about five incidents.
“We’re pretty much the target right now,” Wilkerson said. “But we want to make sure if anyone else moves here that’s of our skin tone, Black, brown, whatever it is, that they shouldn’t have to go through this.”
“Somebody has an opinion on my skin tone, and they don’t feel like I should be here so they make me lose money even more just because they don’t like the fact that I’m Black,” he continued.
Around this time, law enforcement received some major breakthroughs. The FBI was able to determine through matching of his blue 2007 Ford Five Hundred that the suspect who had been bothering these people was most likely McDonald on March 15.
Despite the authorities making headway, McDonald reportedly didn’t stop his terrorism spree. He allegedly shifted his attention to another African-American family, a mother and her two sons, who moved into the apartment building in April 2022. She found, after moving into her place, the word “N##GER” written in black pen on the front of her door on April 5.
It is alleged McDonald slipped a note under her door, stating, “get the f##k out n##gers. Your NOT wanted here.”
Two days later, the claim states, he sent another note that said, “Stay here + see what the f##k happens n##ger.” Victim 7 says the person had to be someone inside of the complex because of the elaborate security system that requires a key to gain entrance. As a result of the threats, the Black woman’s two African-American sons are “no longer living” with her “out of fear for their safety.”
On AprIl 19, the FBI executed a warrant to search McDonald’s home in connection to the hate crimes. He denied having anything to do with the harassment. But agents report they found handwritten notes in his home that said in part, “Drive like a stupid ghetto fu##ing n##ger in MY neighborhood. This is what happens b##ch. I’m watching all you f##king monkeys around here.”
Like so many of the other notes, he wrote, “Get the f##k back to the northside ghetto where you belong.”
The evidence ascertained during this investigation revealed in November 2021 and December 2021, Williams reported the people he had been harassing to the police department over 26 different times, complaining about their reckless driving — a subject in multiple notes that he allegedly left.
The West Allis Police Department pulled McDonald over for not signaling on a turn and for not wearing a seatbelt. When the citation was issued, they were able to get him to sign it. The detectives juxtaposed his signature with the handwriting of the notes and determined it is remarkably close, especially the way he wrote his “a” and “g.”
Federal agents filed their complaint the same day of the apartment search.
U.S. court records, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, indicated McDonald had his initial court appearance Tuesday, April 19, but he did not seem to have legal representation.