Man charged with hate crimes, accused of writing racist notes, smashing car windows, and slashing tires

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WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Federal agents charged William McDonald with series of hate crimes in West Allis for intimidating and threatening nine people for more than a year by leaving racist and threatening notes on windshields.

McDonald is facing a federal charge of willfully injuring, intimidating, or interfering with a person's housing rights due to their race. 

All nine victims -children and adults- live within a one-mile radius of each other, near 84th and Mitchell.

The notes he wrote are vile; filled with racist slurs and demeaning swears. He's also accused of smashing car windows and slashing tires.

The FBI and West Allis police collected evidence, including surveillance video and a racist note discovered in his vehicle.

They executed a search warrant on McDonald's apartment Tuesday, and found two screwdrivers, a baseball bat, and a handwritten note similar to those found on windshields throughout West Allis.

McDonald's handwritten notes are littered with the n-word, other racial slurs, and profanity, threatening the victims, telling them to leave the area. One note read, "stay here + see what the f--- happens n-----."

Another said "Get the f--- back to the northside ghetto where you belong."

According to the FBI's criminal complaint, the first instance happened in March of 2021 when McDonald allegedly smashed a windshield and left a note that said, "I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE. IF I SEE YOU AGAIN I'LL SLASH YOUR F---ING THROAT."

In October McDonald allegedly slashed two tires and left another note.

This February there were two more slashed tires and a note that said "Get the f--- out of MY neighborhood N-----!" Three weeks later two more tires were slashed on that same car.

Back in March, before McDonald was identified and arrested, a couple told us they'd spent more than $1500 replacing a smashed car window and seven slashed tires. And they were worried enough to send their baby daughter to stay with family elsewhere.

Tanathie Addison said, "I think that's the mother's -especially like a new mom- for me, that's my worst fear. I can't even think about it right now."

On April 2, one victim, a Black woman with two Black sons, unknowingly moved into McDonald's building. Three days later the n-word was written on their door. Out of fear for their safety, the sons are no longer living in that apartment.

In total, four victims moved out of West Allis, telling the FBI the sole reason was the hateful notes and vandalism.

Reginald Wilkerson said in March, "It's hard to fathom because, you know, I feel like we came so long, so far."

William McDonald has a criminal history: in 2003 he was arrested for keying his ex's new boyfriend's car. And in 2018 he was listed as a suspect in damaging windshields at a car dealership he worked at.

McDonald is scheduled to have an initial hearing in federal court Friday, April 22nd, at 11 a.m.

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