TUJUNGA (KABC) –A threatening note was left for a family in Tujunga because they hung an Armenian flag from their home, according to detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Hasmik Chatalyan contacted police at about 12:30 p.m. on Thursday after the threatening note was discovered in her family’s mailbox.
The married mother of two said she hung the flag on her house in the 10000 block of Pinyon Avenue in honor of her fallen heroes in Armenia. At one point, the note reads, “You will be hurt.”
“Being threatened in my own home, it was shocking,” Chatalyan said.
Detectives took the note into evidence and said they would test it for fingerprints. Officials said the act was being investigating as a “hate incident” and that hate crime charges could potentially be brought in the future.
“My kids are home and I don’t know who is going to come up to my house and try to put the flags down or break-in and hurt me, because in the letter it says, ‘You’re going to get hurt,'” Chatalyan said.
Neighbors on the same block said their car was egged last year after they put an Armenian flag on their vehicle. “Violated, angry and frustrated,” Tujunga resident Adelaida Yian said. “Why do people have so much hate in their hearts?”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) released a statement after reports of the threatening note:
“An act of hatred like that we saw in Tujunga this week has no place in our community, and I am deeply disturbed that someone would be threatened over their Armenian heritage, or for displaying an Armenian flag outside of their home. Coming so soon after the violence that claimed Armenian lives in Nagorno Karabahk and so close to the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in just a few weeks, this act of hatred is all the more reprehensible. I’m glad that the LAPD is investigating it as a hate crime.”
In response to the suspect’s threats, the Chatalyan family kept the Armenian flag up and hung a second flag as well. They also called on other Armenian families to place flags on their homes.
“I grew up here, but I’m also from Armenia and I’m proud of my country and I will not let anybody put that down,” Chatalyan said. “I will not let anybody tell me how to love my country.”