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Nov 21 2022

Apparent Hate Hoaxer Charged With Arson

Hate hoaxes aren’t only about increasing awareness of problems that do not exist. Sometimes it comes down to cold hard cash. Consider the case of San Diego County’s Avonte Hartsfield, who received over $100,000 in GoFundMe donations after his food truck Rollin Roots was burned up. He now finds himself on the hot seat:

Hartsfield was convinced someone did it on purpose, especially since he said the office where he parked his truck in Kearny Mesa [central San Diego] was trashed the week before. He also found what he said was a noose hanging on his office door, and as a Black man, he said he felt targeted.

Who are we to argue with his lived experience?

The truck was burned last October…

Then in March, Hartfield posted on the fundraiser page that he learned the fire was not arson or vandalism, but was caused by an electrical mishap. He offered refunds to donors.

Too late. In addition to arson, he has been charged with grand theft for duping GoFundMe chumps out of their money.

He also is charged with three other felonies that include defrauding and presenting a false claim to the company that insured his truck.

Al Sharpton launched a highly lucrative career on the back of a hate hoax, but they don’t always pay off. Ask Jussie Smollett and Bubba Wallace, both of whom reduced themselves to public laughing stocks by indulging in hate hoaxes.

On a tip from Franco.


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