A former paramedic faces a federal charge after he allegedly hung a doll from a noose in front of a black family's Grapevine apartment and damaged their cars during a two-month span in 2017.
Grapevine resident Glenn Halfin, 64, is charged with one count of criminal Interference with right to fair housing. The charges were filed by the feds last Friday, six months to the day after Grapevine police arrested him.
Police say that Halfin, who is white, continuously harassed a black family in the Colonial Village Apartments during a two-month span in late 2017. Members of the family had their vehicles damaged and nooses thrown onto their balconies. On two occasions, dolls were left with ropes on their necks in positions that mimicked a hanging.
The father lives there with his daughter and girlfriend, who said she later "found a plastic children' s baby doll underneath her car with a noose tied around its neck.” The father told police he saw "the appearance of the doll as a clear threat to the safety of his infant daughter."
“We do believe this family was targeted because of their race and hateful harassment over the course of months,” said Grapevine Police Officer Amanda McNew.
The final incident occurred on Dec. 19, when police say a doll was seen hanging from a noose in the breezeway of the apartment complex. Officials say it was placed in a way that made it visible to people walking into or close to the black family’s apartment.
Following the Dec. 19 incident, Grapevine Police Detective Joseph Moeller searched for the doll in stores around the area, finding the exact type in a nearby Walmart. After sifting through surveillance footage, he was able to identify Halfin as the man making the purchase.
Police say Detective Moeller applied what he learned in that hate crimes class when he took the case to the FBI. A hate crime enhancement was added to the charge of stalking against Halfrin, who also now faces a federal charge of interference with housing.
Halfin had a history of making “racially insensitive comments,” according to the apartment’s leasing office. He was arrested on Dec. 22, three days after the final incident, and charged with a hate crime by Grapevine police.
Neighbors are disgusted by the allegations.
"You make the whole family feel uncomfortable,” said neighbor Caleigh Moore. “A child is supposed to feel safe where you live."
Halfin had previously worked in emergency medical services with two cities in the Houston area. He was convicted of a DWI in one of those cities in 1985, according to a records search.