Connect with us


California teens charged with violent anti-Asian home invasions

Authorities arrested Crouch and Means-Elliott earlier this month in California, while Taylor was already in custody in the state



A group of teenagers from California is accused of traveling to the Las Vegas area and targeting Asian victims in a series of violent crimes. (Screenshot/YouTube 8 News Now CBS Las Vegas)

Editor’s Note: As part of the ongoing coverage for the California v. Hate initiative sponsored by a grant from the Ethnic Media Services Project, the Blade continues to publish related occasional stories to highlight individuals & communities targeted with hate.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Two California teenagers stand accused of perpetrating a string of violent home invasions targeting Asian victims in the Las Vegas area, according to investigative documents obtained by Las Vegas CBS 8 News Now Investigators. Johnathan Crouch, 18, Terrell Means-Elliott, 17, and Lorenzo Taylor, 18, face charges including robbery, burglary, and kidnapping, among others.

Authorities arrested Crouch and Means-Elliott earlier this month in California, while Taylor was already in custody in the state. The alleged crime spree, which took place on Sept. 26, 2023, involved a series of burglaries, with the assailants brandishing firearms and demanding money from their victims.

One victim recounted waking up to find three individuals with guns in her bedroom, demanding money while ransacking her home. Remarkably, the victim and her roommate, who were of Asian descent, reported feeling targeted due to their ethnicity. The incidents, which involved the theft of firearms stolen from California, prompted a deeper investigation by law enforcement.

Authorities suspected that the group was specifically targeting Asian families, possibly linked to six prior incidents of burglary, home invasion, or robbery. Surveillance footage and evidence gathered at the crime scenes pointed to a pattern, including the use of a black sedan associated with the suspects.

Following a series of incidents on Sept. 28, police tracked the suspects to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. Subsequent arrests in late October in California led to the apprehension of Taylor, with Means-Elliott found during a search of his home.

During interrogations, Taylor admitted to the group’s venture from California to Las Vegas but did not provide a clear motive or acknowledge the targeting of Asian individuals.

In a separate and unrelated case, five individuals from California faced murder charges for their involvement in another violent home invasion in Las Vegas, resulting in the death of one victim due to injuries sustained during the attack.

California teens came to Las Vegas to target Asian victims in violent home invasions:



75-year-old parolee charged in alleged Las Vegas hate crime

A preliminary hearing in this case was scheduled for May 15. Because of a parole violation, he will remain in custody without bail



Screenshot/YouTube CBS affiliate KLAS-TV 8 News

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A man currently on parole for a habitual criminal offense has been charged by Clark County, Nevada prosecutors for an April 25 incident for shooting at his neighbors while using homophobic slurs.

CBS affiliate KLAS-TV 8 News reported that Larry Walraven, 75, faces a charge of assault with a deadly weapon with a hate crime enhancement, according to the court documents filed this week.

In the court filings it was stated that on April 25, Walraven allegedly shot at his neighbor “due to their sexual orientation.” A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson said that in the initial 911 call, the victim said he was standing outside when Walraven “provided a black, revolver handgun and pointed it at [him]. After Walraven pointed the handgun, he fired four rounds at [the victim] with none of the rounds making contact with [him].”

After allegedly firing the weapon, Walraven reportedly said, “I’m going to kill you fucking faggots,” using a homophobic slur.

Metro officers seized a BB-gun when they arrested Walraven. A preliminary hearing in this case was scheduled for May 15. Because of a parole violation, he will remain in custody without bail.

Continue Reading


Anti-LGBTQ+ terroristic threats gets Las Vegas man arrested

He is being held in the Clark County Detention Center on $20,000 bail and is due to appear in court November 1 for his preliminary hearing



Michael Zahara booking photo via Las Vegas Metropolitan Police

CLARK COUNTY, Nv. – The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police took a 61-year-old Las Vegas man into custody last Friday charging him with “falsely communicating an act of terrorism” after he threatened to shoot up a Tuesday Human Rights Campaign event at the LGBTQ+ Center of Southern Nevada.

Metropolitan Police detectives arrested Michael Zahara after an investigation into threatening text messages from Zahara sent to the Human Rights Campaign of Nevada saying he was “planning to shoot up Nazi HRC event” taking place at the LGBTQ+ Center.

According to Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS News 8, an employee for HRC told investigators the organization uses an app that sends out event information to people who are subscribed to receive messages.

The HRC employee reported to the Metropolitan Police the threatening text was received on Oct. 13 as a response to a mass message inviting subscribers to the event on Oct. 18 at the LGBTQ+ Center.

The arrest records noted that detectives contacted the former owner of the number, who said it was an old number that had not been used by his family in 15 years. After further investigation, it was determined the number was now in use by Zahara. When contacted on the number, police say Zahara admitted he sent the message in response to the mass distribution text message from HRC.

KLAS also reported that Zahara had previously been named in suspicious activity reports stemming from two incidents, the first made on Dec. 27 last year, was from a Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada representative who said Zahara called and threatened that he would “shoot up the place because his appointment was not soon enough,” the report said. The representative said Zahara sounded intoxicated and reverted to insults before hanging up.

Then last July, he reportedly told representatives of the city’s Mobility Training Center they were discriminatory and “wondered why you guys don’t get shot up more” and that he was “hoping someone shoots you up.”

Zahara, a former member of the executive board of the Nevada Democratic Party allegedly tried to extort roughly $5,000 from a candidate in a 2008 local election in 2008. The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that he also allegedly threatened other officials at the state Democratic convention.

According to the paper, he allegedly threatened candidate Sanje Sedera, a native of Sri Lanka, saying he would tell others Sedera had enjoyed in IRS and mortgage fraud, as well as engaging in “terrorist rebel activity.”

KLAS reported that Zahara became a Republican in 2018 after 30 years as a Democrat. He ran a political blog where he espoused blunt opinions and used racist epithets about local officials of color.

Zahara is being held in the Clark County Detention Center on $20,000 bail and is due to appear in Clark County Superior Court November 1 for his preliminary hearing.

Continue Reading


Sparks, Nevada drag queen story hour disrupted by armed Proud Boy

A Proud Boy approached the library while carrying a gun, causing everyone, including children, to run into the library for safety




SPARKS, Nv. – An armed man later identified as part of a group of Proud Boys disrupted a drag queen story hour at the Sparks Library Sunday afternoon Reno media outlet KRNV (NBC News 4 and Fox 11) reported.

According to KRNV’s account during the event, a group of Proud Boys protested against LGBTQ+ rights outside of the Sparks Library.

The KRNV crew covering the reading event said when the protest came to an end, a man wearing Proud Boys clothing approached the library while carrying a gun, causing everyone, including children, to run into the library for safety.

The Sparks Police Department monitored the protest from a distance, but left soon after. There were no police present when the man approached the building.

Nevada is an open-carry state and according to the Nevada State Police unless a sign is posted or the person is accused of brandishing a weapon, technically for appearances sake, no law was broken or regulation violated Sunday.

Continue Reading


Clark County Nevada school board candidate; being gay is unconstitutional

“This goes against our Constitution- this goes against what parents want in the school district, and this is only one book out of thousands”



Screenshot via Twitter Video

LAS VEGAS – A far-right candidate running for a seat on the Clark County School Board was caught on video at a local church telling parishioners that the U.S. Constitution demands that Americans procreate, extrapolating that due to that fact because homosexuals aren’t able to birth a child they, [gays] are unconstitutional.

John Carlo was holding up a book as he spoke claiming that it was found in a a book in a school library that he said made homosexuality acceptable.

Raw Story reported that Carlo told the audience; “I believe the Constitution. I believe in our — our — the way our founding fathers believed in this country: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” he said, mistaking the Constitution for the Declaration of Independence. “That means that homosexuals cannot procreate. This goes against our Constitution and this goes against what parents want in the school district, and this is only one book out of thousands.”

Raw Story also noted that Carlo has a long history of far-right activism. He previously posted photos and comments about his support of the Confederate flag on Instagram.

He has since deleted his Instagram and Twitter accounts, but not before screen captures were taken.

Continue Reading


Kimi Cole running to be first openly Trans Nevada statewide elected official

Cole, the Nevada Democratic Rural Caucus chair, is the first candidate to formally announce a bid for the Lt. Governor’s seat



Courtesy of Kimi Cole for Nevada campaign

CARSON CITY, NV. — Nevada Democrat Kimi Cole announced Wednesday that she will seek the state’s open lieutenant governor’s seat in 2022. If elected, she would become the first openly trans candidate elected to statewide office in the country, according to her campaign

In a statement, Cole said: “I’m a lifelong Nevadan with deep roots all across our state. I’m running for Lieutenant Governor because I believe Nevadans of all walks of life want and deserve authentic leadership, and that’s exactly what this campaign is about. Our economy, climate, and everyday life is rapidly changing, and we need someone who can help lead our transition into the new era. This past year, we have proven our resilience — fighting COVID, the climate crisis, and economic collapse — but far too many of our political leaders remain intent upon dividing us up and even threatening the very essence of our Democracy. It’s time for us to come together and continue to make progress on the promise of Nevada for every Nevadan.”

Cole, the Nevada Democratic Rural Caucus chair, is the first Democratic candidate to formally announce a bid for the seat. Kate Marshall vacated the seat after being appointed a post in the Biden administration. 

Three Republicans — former Nevada state treasurer Dan Schwartz, Las Vegas City Councilmember Stavros Anthony and conservative activist Mack Miller — have also announced their campaigns for lieutenant governor.

She announced her historic bid during a press conference at the Nevada State Legislature Wednesday. 

According to Politico, Cole’s team features alumni from progressives Tom Steyer, Bernie Sanders and Cori Bush. She expects her campaign to garner national attention. 

Cole, who publicly transitioned a decade ago, has been a fixture in Nevada Democratic politics since 2012 and a champion for LGBTQ+ rights.

Cole, a retired construction project manager, has long advocated for more investment in rural communities. A press release states that “her work organizing rural Democrats has served as a model for state Democratic parties across the nation.”

“Talking points will either come out of Las Vegas or Washington, D.C., and they really don’t connect with the rural voters,” she told Politico.

Continue Reading