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Amtrak is investigating a “reprehensible act of hate” after a gay couple and their children were reportedly verbally assaulted on a train in California.
“Amtrak strongly condemns this reprehensible act of hate. To ensure our customers feel valued and respected when riding our trains, we are conducting a full investigation on this incident,” an Amtrak representative told Fox News Digital on Monday.
The unidentified suspect in the case could face a ban on riding Amtrak trains, the representative told Fox News.
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Robbie Pierce, his husband Neal Broverman and their children were on an Amtrak train last Tuesday departing Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay Area when another passenger began screaming at their kids, ABC 7 News reported.
“The first thing he said was, ‘Remember what I told you. Marriage is between a man and a woman, and these people stole you. They’re not your parents, they’re pedophiles,”‘ Pierce recounted to the news outlet.
Pierce said their children were visibly shaken after the incident. Broverman immediately jumped in between their kids and the man, and the family moved to a different train car.
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“They were both just sobbing. Just tears all down their faces. And my son was kind of just frozen. My daughter was yelling, ‘why is this happening?'” Pierce said of children’s reaction.
Amtrak employees told the man he had to leave the train when it pulled into the San Jose station, but he refused. Santa Clara Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene, and the man complied with the demand to leave, according to ABC 7.
“He had been yelling, ‘I’ll die before I get off this train. You’ll have to kill me to get me out of here,”‘ said Pierce.
The Santa Clara Sheriff’s office told Fox News Digital on Tuesday that it is not releasing information on the matter. Amtrak Police are investigating the incident.
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“They want us to be afraid. And so, as scary as it is, we can’t let that win. We’re just not going to let them drive us out of the public discourse,” Pierce added.