Valley victim of hate crime reacts to Charlottesville violence

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For Don Logan, the images of racially-motivated violence and hatred stirred up a very personal pain. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) For Don Logan, the images of racially-motivated violence and hatred stirred up a very personal pain. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Logan was opening the package in his office when the pipe bomb inside exploded in 2004. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Logan was opening the package in his office when the pipe bomb inside exploded in 2004. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The package was sent to him by a white supremacist. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The package was sent to him by a white supremacist. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Like millions of people in this country, Valley resident Don Logan watched in horror and disgust as the violent and deadly events unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

But for Logan, the images of racially-motivated violence and hatred stirred up a very personal pain.

[RELATED: Phoenix group rallies against hate after Charlottesville violence]

“There isn’t a day that goes past that I don’t think about what happened that day,” he said.

The date was Feb. 26, 2004, when Logan opened a package with a bomb inside, which was sent to him by a white supremacist.

“I still deal with it emotionally, psychologically and I have physical scars from that incident,” he said. “That’s part of my life now.”

At the time, Logan, a black Arizona State University graduate who was born and raised in south Phoenix, was serving as the director of the Scottsdale City’s Office of Diversity.

Logan was opening the package in his office when the pipe bomb inside exploded. He avoided almost certain death simply because of how he was holding the package at the time of the blast.

The main force of the explosion tore a hole in his office wall, but Logan was still badly injured. One of his hands and an arm were shredded by the explosion, and his colleague suffered minor injuries. 

[RELATED: Bombing victim Don Logan: "Diversity is more than just observing" (May 23, 2012)]

It took five years, but finally, an arrest was made in the bombing. The suspect was identified as 61-year-old Illinois native Dennis Mahon-- a man with a long history of affiliation with a variety of American hate groups including the White Nationalist’s Movement, David Duke’s KKK and the White Aryan Resistance.

In 2012, Mahon was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison.

“I’m not surprised,” Logan said Tuesday in his office at Phoenix City Hall, where he now serves as the director of the city’s Equal Opportunity Department.

[RELATED: Don Logan hired as Phoenix equal opportunity director (June 5, 2015)]

“There seems to be a loss of civility,” the soft-spoken man said about Charlottesville. “I think a lot of peoples’ hearts sank.”

Logan has spent almost his entire adult life trying to promote diversity and expand opportunity for the citizens of this Valley-- a pursuit and passion that nearly got him killed.

“I know that I was blessed,” Logan said. “There was still work for me to do.”

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