When Colin Monahan, 68, heard a knock on her door and saw a group of people standing outside her porch on Friday night, she said she thought they might be there to complain about a new garage she and her wife had recently built.

Although they originally stated they were there to talk about the Cody Country neighborhood covenants with her, she said it quickly became clear that wasn't the real reason why the five individuals were there. She said they told Monahan and her partner Shannon Lastowski, 63, they were not welcome in Wapiti because of their sexual orientation. The same-sex couple is retired and moved to Wyoming from the Chicago area four years ago because of the beautiful surroundings.

“This woman said, ‘We don’t like your kind’ … and our kind is not welcome here, and we need to leave,” Monahan said.

Monahan asked the party to leave. She said they refused to do so, although she did say one individual they have had prior encounters with did go back to their vehicle upon request when the conversation started.

As the two homeowners and four neighbors crowded around the small porch, she said tensions rose quickly.

“I said, ‘I’ll have to call the police then,’ and (one of the neighbors) said, ‘Fine, call the police,’” Monahan recalled.

She said once she connected with the Park County Sheriff’s Office she offered the phone over to the neighbors to speak with law enforcement officers. That was when Monahan said they finally decided to leave.

The Park County Sheriff’s Office reported on Tuesday the incident was still under active investigation. It would not release any more information as of press time.

When contacted, three of the neighbors Monahan said were involved in the incident declined to comment, while another did not respond to a request for comment.

Monahan, a hunter with three dogs, said she is used to living in a conservative community, and had no illusions about that being true in state before moving to Wyoming, but “didn’t expect the amount of hate that some of the people out here have. It’s at a level I’ve not seen before.”

Monahan is determined to not let this incident drive them out but said Lastowski has had different thoughts.

“She’s terrified,” Monahan said.

Monahan said they have felt “wonderful” support from most people they have met in the community, especially after this incident.

“That’s a good thing,” she said. “There are people who are both conservative and liberal that believe what happened was terrible and I believe they’re in the majority.

“I just want to stop them from doing this to other people and anybody else that wants to do this to people, they’re going to get stopped.”

Monahan said she has had countless people reach out and even one individual who offered large sums of money for attorney fees, which they turned down.

“They’re like, ‘We want to help some way,’” Monahan said. “It’s an incredible outpouring of support from the community here.”

The alleged incident has caused an outcry from the local community – individuals and businesses. “Your Hate Is Not Welcome” stickers – featuring a cowboy riding a bronco with rainbow colors and Heart Mountain in the background – have surfaced.

“People are in the mood right now where they’re not going to be silenced,” Monahan said.

She said Park County Sheriff Scott Steward paid them an in-person visit on Tuesday, and called those accused and told them to have no contact with Monahan or Lastowski.

“He was very helpful,” she said. “The sheriff’s department has been very helpful and supportive in this process.”

But an informal no contact order only extends to their property, and a separate legal process must occur for this order to be formalized and universal.

“This is Wyoming, everybody has guns and long-range rifles, there’s a lot of ways they can get people here,” Monahan said. “We’re not really safe ever.”

Monahan said she thinks the current state of social media is simultaneously bringing those with similar viewpoints together, and also compartmentalizing people into divisive groups.

“It allows people to come out and say all sorts of things,” she said. “It allows people to come out and say what they truly believe. It allows people who are maybe normally cowards to get out there.”

Monahan said she had received harassment from those who came to her home and others on Facebook in the past and said this latest incident is, “bringing it all back again.”

She said Steward had reached out to her on one occasion in response, offering law enforcement help when he saw these posts, but Monahan turned down the offer. She said the personal nature of this new attack brings these threats to a heightened level.

“What they said was a hate crime, what they did was a hate crime,” Monahan said.

Wyoming is one of four states without any hate crime laws, but if the alleged suspects are charged and found guilty, the party or parties could be cited for harassment and criminal trespassing.

“I want a charge for what she did wrong, not some other side thing,” Monahan said. “The lesson should be to everybody that they can’t do that, but I doubt that’s going to happen here.”

The Enterprise will be continuing to follow this story as the investigation continues.

(29) comments

Freecitizen

An allegation is made. It is reported and takes on a life of it's own. A community responds "we must do something!". Talk is made of legislating for "Hate Crimes", making a crime punishable beyond the norm based on what the perpetrator was thinking. All this prior to completion of the investigation...there is an investigation, correct? All this before a warrant is issued for arrest. All of this based on nothing more than a story. A story which may be true, or a story simply meant to inflame. I see the torches and pitchforks are coming out to burn the "hate crime" perpetrators at the stake. Shall I bring matches?

WyoTexas

Federal Laws apply here. [sleeping][sleeping][sleeping]

StrongDogRT

Looking forward to meeting the "Cody Mean Girls."

skoshe

accusations, allegations, rumors, scandal and slander are common day occurrences in wapiti, so, what's new? never seen a community fight like those folks. frankly, we've seen wapiti grow from a quaint and enjoyable lil' burg to a very judgmental and scary place along with confederate flags waving and i hate even driving through there on they way to the park.

Pawnee Trace

Wapiti Valley, a place that has long been infiltrated by Californians who moved East to the "Wild" West and want to masquerade as conservatives. Well, fine, but, they their act too far. If Park County could give Wapiti to say, Montana or Idaho then we'd all be better off. As of now, it's best to just drive fast through their, don't stop and mingle with these migrants and go about your business. A lot of hate up there along the North Fork of the Shoshone River.

Code GZ

Hold on a minute, folks. I have first hand knowledge that this situation actually started because the Accuser was calling someone (a school board candidate) a "NazI' via social media, yet doesn't think it's wrong. But, when held to the fire over it, instead of owning it, the allegations of harassment was blurted out. You can't play it both ways.......

EqualityBeliever

I hope the citizens of Cody learn more about this issue in the coming days. These types of actions are neither representative of the community of Cody nor of Wyoming as a whole. The love and support shown -- by individuals and businesses -- to this couple in the face of these allegations has been a powerful tribute to true Wyoming values. If the five people are charged with crimes, we will surely learn their names (if you don't already due to local social media posts).

CodyLocal

Thank you to the Cody Enterprise for shedding light on this issue. I hope that we learn more about the incident in the coming days. The alleged actions of the people who threatened this couple are not representative of the community of Cody. I hope the sheer number of people and businesses (in the Cody community, around the state of Wyoming, and in other parts of the US and the world) that have denounced this type of behavior and offered their love and support will go a long way toward showing that this is not the Wyoming we know and love.

Sadly, there will always be people who will do anything they can to avoid facing the real issue. I've seen comments saying there isn't enough proof that this happened, etc. -- hopefully, the county attorney's office will bring charges against the aggressors so their names will be made public sooner rather than later.

And, to the comments about the "MEAN GIRLS" in Cody who seen to have hurt some of your little snowflake feelings: deflection will only get you so far. I can't see any "meanness" in someone feeling compelled to call out reprehensible behavior in our community when it rears its head. Deflecting blame from the real bad guys to the people who call it out is a worn-out tactic that does a disservice to social justice.

It's also interesting to see the same posters who say the "mean girls" delete posts and cut and run after stirring up controversy don't use their actual names in this forum. That reeks of hypocrisy.

To the "mean girls" and everyone else in this community who is willing to stand up against homophobia, racism, and hate: You will be on the right side of history. Thank you.

Fox Blue River

I like you, but from what I have heard directly out of people's mouths, this is totally representative of the community.

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Devildog307

I agree, there is way too much hearsay to make a valid opinion. It would be nice to see both sides to the story not just accusations.

Trex

Careful folks this is not facts only accusations , looks like someone backing push for hate crime law, hate crime laws are for when nothing is proved then go to your thoughts. All these type accusations the last few years end up hoaxes odds are that may just be what is happening here.

Circle Lot Owner

We've only heard one side of the story, but looks like the Cody Cancel Culture is ready to tar and feather. Another poster made a great point about the "Mean Girls", this supposed (again, SUPPOSED) harassment is right up the alley of those two and instead of their facebook flames then deletions, c'mon here to the Enterprise comment section and state your peace!

XMonkey

"Hate" takes many forms, and is rarely one-sided. Just that nowadays, in the interest of divisiveness, we have to continually find new ways to brand "the enemy."

okthen

It's interesting that Trump thinks "suburban white women" don't feel safe in Democrat city suburbs -- this shows not feeling safe has more to do with whiteness and people not liking people who are not the same as they are (rural area that this happened too). I feel safe in my suburb now - I never felt safe in rural Wyoming.

Beck AVE

Wa-What-WAIT a minute here: not exactly going to buy into these allegations yet. Let's here the other side of the story as we hope this isn't a Jussie situation. But, since we're on the subject of hate, let's talk about it - a lot of hate around here is caused by the Cody 'mean girls' and most of you know whom I speak about. They take situations like this, jump on fakebook and start a ruckus...then normally, after the bonfire is started, hit and run by deleting their posts. The parade float for example - a real good family got scorched by the efforts of the mean girls. There is true hate around here that has nothing to do with color of skin or sexual orientation. As for the supposed situation in Wapiti, let's hope that whatever happened (or didn't happen) gets figured out. Meanwhile, the shadow haters in Cody can move on to other things to villify

srparker37

Wow, this is disappointing. I joined this online newspaper to get a sense of Cody, Wy. Me and my sister considering moving there for retirement. We are black. Now gotta rethink some things. Also surprised one of the comments mentioned that Kanye wasn't exactly received well due to being black. I thought Wy was better than this.

someoneyoudontknow

This is unacceptable. The hate in Cody has only gotten stronger in the last few years I feel. The parade committee allowed a float that depicted an outhouse as the first transgender bathroom, Kanye got a lot of hate because he's a POC, and now this. SMDH.

XMonkey

I'm not into harassing people but we no longer have any standards of what is right and wrong. Where does the "redefinition" game end? How far do we go in redefining what constitutes a marriage and a family, or gender? And who is it that makes the rules about what constitutes marriage and a family? Did our "ape" ancestors just suddenly decide that they needed to call their unions (likely even polygamous!) "marriage"? If that's the case, then I'll decide who or what I'd like to marry and say I'm married to them or it, ok? Let's just change definitions to suit our cause. Or is this simply part of our rebellion against the One who made the rules that we continually break? If not, then just live together and don't call it "marriage."

barbed wire bliss

Hey haters...If you come for one of us, you come for all of us. Keep your hatred out of our community. #CallOutHate

Pride

Park County Assessor website shows very few residents that have built in that development. That website also shows the names of everyone that does currently reside there. The 5 perpetrators could be figured out easily.

Sorry this happened!

Beck AVE

the Assessor site shows a bunch of vacant lots and anything that has something built on is primarily owned by absentees. Perhaps Sheriff Steward could clarify this supposed situation there in Wapiti

gus

It's shameful that Wyoming is one of the few states without a hate crime law. This needs to change. We do live in a time where neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups are emboldened to crawl out from beneath their rocks.

todayistheday

What ever happened to, " If you do not have anything decent to say, keep your mouth shut " ? Mind you own business ? That goes for EVERYBODY ! I notice you do not condemn the antifa thugs, or the b.l.m. burning down city blocks, where they don't even live, because they don't get their way ! People have just become unhinged ! Personally, I will only ask you once to get off my property, then, I won't have to feed my dogs, I'll just let'em loose ! You try to hurt my dogs, well then you get what you get ! Antifa thugs, b.l.m. thugs, white supremacist's, black racist's, white racist's, you will have to sooner or later have to realize these people will not change ! Some do, but most don't ! I learned long ago, some people you just have to ignore ! If the sheriff knows who these people are, that did what is being reported here, well there are laws which can be applied, sorry this happened.

Gus, ya can't just call bad people on one side, and not condemn the chuckle heads on the other ! That's the problem now, only holding one side or the other !

These riots, and looting, have destroyed innocent business owners, who employ citizens in these city's ! I have never understood why you would burn down the grocery store or pharmacy where your grand folks, or your mom shops ?

wapiti1

To these two women, am sorry for the "hate" these citizens of Wapiti are spewing, it just shows their ignorant, disgusting low mentality. To those that are doing this despicable act, you will answer to the law, and I hope your names are published, so we can all see the "low-ness" of those that live among us. Thank-you to Scott Steward, for his professionalism and respect/kindness for those involved. He is a respected leader in our community for a reason. What a sad day in 2020, and shame on those that gave these women this harassment. To those involved you will answer to the law so take your hate somewhere else, leave them alone, stay off their property, and for those of us in Wapiti that have learned of this we despise your behavior and actions, shame on YOU.

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PD Choi

I did the same thing. The accuser's dwelling butts up to nothing but empty lots. Where did these 'neighbors' come from?

PD Choi

Either a very grievous act by supposedly angry neighbors or a huge publicity stunt. Sure hope no one is cryin' wolf

L Gerber

I don't know Colin Monahan or Shannon Lastowski, but I would like to tell the both that I am very happy they are members of our community. I will tell them that when I have a chance to meet them.

Knappen

This hate must stop its wrong on any level

What would give anyone the idea it is ok to do this?

P Demoney

I'm sorry that this happened. I can't believe the arrogance and hubris of the "neighbors".

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