TAMPA (FOX 13) - The FBI says a Tampa man was targeted because of his race and religion. They say his neighbor was driven by hate and used threats and intimidation as weapons. Now, nearly two years later, David Howard is headed to prison.
Ali Kaderbhai and his family say they are still recovering from the trauma.
"It shook us to our heart," said Kaderbhai.
In November 2016, Kaderbhai and his wife were set to buy a home on Davis Islands. They had one final walk-through with the seller when David Howard marched across the street and began spewing hate, threats, and intimidation.
According to court documents, Howard yelled, "This sale will not take place," and cursed at them as he threatened to break all their windows and burn down the house.
"You are not welcome here," Howard yelled.
Kaderbhai said he had never experienced this kind of hate.
"We, as Americans, we need to respect each other; class, color, creed, and religion," Kaderbhai said.
Earlier this year, Howard pleaded guilty to violating housing rights. At his sentencing in federal court Tuesday, Howard told the judge drugs made him do it.
"It's the combination of medications. I'm dying of AIDS. This is classic 'roid rage,'" Howard said.
Howard apologized to the Kaderbhai family, telling them he is not racist.
The judge rejected the steroid excuse, placing the blame on Howard and his racist behavior. She sentenced him to eight months in prison followed by two years of probation.
Kaderbhai walked out of court with his attorney with a sense of relief and forgiveness.
"He's a nice man. It is said if you can control your anger you can prevent a lot of unwanted trauma to so many people, you know?" Kaderbhai added.