Lake County

Lake County man accused of harassing neighbors facing hate crime charges

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — The word “love” is spray-painted on Frank Norviel’s front door, but Lake County deputies say he’s facing hate crime charges Thursday afternoon.

Deputies said he harassed his neighbors on Marlette Avenue in Leesburg.


One neighbor said Norviel constantly causes issues in the neighborhood. Norveil was arrested two years ago for smashing out neighbors’ car windows. This time he’s facing charges for harassing his gay neighbors.

“He would ride by on his bicycle and use derogatory statements to reference their sexual orientation,” Lt. Fred Jones said.

It got so bad that the neighbors got temporary injunctions against him and were scheduled in court next week to try to get a permanent injunction.

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“It seems to have caused him to kind of ramp it up since he had the injunction,” Jones said. “And it even got to the point where he was harassing their son.”

After the injunction, deputies said surveillance video captured Norviel waving a pair of blue underwear on a stick over his neighbors’ driveway and him threatening to kill their cat and eat it.

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The sheriff’s office believes Norviel targeted the neighbors because of their sexual orientation. Deputies said they take hate crimes like this seriously because they don’t want it to escalate into violence.

Norveil remains locked up in the Lake County Jail on a bond of more than $100,000.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal,

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.