DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — A Florida man was arrested after he intentionally did a “burnout” across a Pride-themed street mural earlier this week.
Witnesses said Alexander Jerich, 20, peeled out in his white Chevrolet Silverado around 8 p.m. Monday through the recently painted intersection, WPBF reported.
“This is a deliberate act of violence against the LGBTQ community,” Rand Hoch, founder and president of the Palm Beach Human Rights Council, told WFOR. “We’ve made such progress here in the last 30 years on LGBTQ issues. To see someone do something like this took me by surprise.”
Jerich was participating in a parade in honor of former President Donald Trump’s birthday that was organized by the Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee, WPTV reported. The political committee did not comment to WPTV about the incident.
A witness who participated in the rally came forward Wednesday to police. He said he heard someone yell “tear up that gay intersection” before Jerich drove through it, WPTV reported. A license plate search led investigators to Jerich, WPTV reported. A witness also identified Jerich from a photo lineup.
Jerich turned himself in Thursday and was arrested and charged with criminal mischief over $1,000, reckless driving and evidence of prejudice, WPTV reported. He was later released on bond.
“Kudos to the Delray Beach Police Department for swiftly identifying and arresting this hateful criminal,” Hoch told WPBF.
The mural, which includes 11 colors and symbolizes unity, cost more than $16,000, WFOR reported.
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