LANE COUNTY, Ore. — The man who Boise Police believe has committed multiple crimes against the LGBTQ+ community in Boise has a history of assault in Oregon, police reports show.
Matthew Alan Lehigh was charged with assault, arson and injury to property earlier this month for driving his car into people and yelling homophobic slurs, Boise Police said. He was later charged with arson as police believed that he burned an LGBTQ+ flag on Brumback Street around Oct. 4.
According to police reports in Oregon from 2020, Lehigh trespassed onto an off-duty police officer's yard. The officer, Raymond Stevens, said he was punched in the face by Lehigh multiple times, the police report said.
Lehigh took off running around the other side the house and out of a gate to the street. Stevens said he saw a fight between Lehigh and his wife, Michelle Stevens, the police report said.
Raymond Stevens caught up with Lehigh and held him down until the police could arrive. Their 19-year-old son also ran out to assist his father, police reports said.
Michelle Stevens told police in the report she tried telling Lehigh to get off their property, but the next thing she remembered was "getting up off the ground."
The couple sustained multiple injuries, like a head contusion and some lacerations as well as a couple scrapes and bruises.
Police reports show Raymond Stevens told Lehigh he believed he stole some of his money, so police collected $540 out of his wallet and submitted it into evidence. Lehigh told the arresting officer he believed Raymond Stevens would "let him go" if he was a "low level criminal."
Lehigh was later convicted on two of the five charges -- assault and menacing. The other charges, assault, menacing and criminal trespassing, were dismissed, according to court records.
In Boise, Lehigh --- according to BPD -- hit a person in the arm and used a homophobic slur on South Capitol Boulevard near Julia Davis Park on Oct. 8. BPD also said Lehigh yelled a homophobic threat and slur at two women on Americana Boulevard between Kathryn Albertson and Ann Morrison parks.
Lehigh also intentionally drove his vehicle towards the women as they were standing next to it, before hitting another vehicle and driving away, police said.
Just days before this incident, Lehigh can be seen posting to his YouTube channel, discussing his thoughts on murdering LGBTQA+ people in a church. Multiple videos were posted, one after the other, depicting his violent thoughts about LGBTQ+ people, especially the trans community. His channel was confirmed by police.
BPD said Lehigh may be responsible for other incidents involving the LGBTQ+ community.
Boise has had issues over the past year, like Harrison Boulevard missing their LGBTQ flags, North End residents finding their flags defaced and some instances of targeted vandalism. The Community Center - an LGBTQ+ resource center - reported someone broke two of their windows around Oct. 5, according to BPD, even though most of it has not been traced to a specific person.
Lehigh still cannot be charged with a hate crime -- Idaho code 18-7902 says malicious harassment targeting includes a, “Person’s race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin.” Targeting someone for their sexual orientation or gender identity is not included in the law. Police cannot arrest for it specifically and prosecutors can’t charge, because of how the law is written.
Lehigh's arson case in Boise is still active, court records show, but his assault charges in Boise are "inactive" pending a competency evaluation. He has a preliminary hearing Oct. 26.
If you have any information or if you have been a victim, call Crime Stoppers at 208-343-COPS.
Boise Police also encourage contacting Ada County Dispatch at 208-377-6790, or contacting LGBTQ Liaison Officer Dan Lister at email@example.com.
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