FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiamiAP) — A man who police say purposefully damaged a new LGBTQ pride crosswalk in Delray Beach has been arrested.
Alexander Jerich, 20, turned himself in to Delray Beach police and was charged with criminal mischief over $1,000, reckless driving, and a felony enhancement for evidence of prejudice.
The vandalism took place during a birthday rally for former President Donald Trump.
Witnesses told police that they saw Jerich doing what appeared to be an intentional "burnout" with his pickup truck over the LGBTQ pride crosswalk. This caused significant damage to the streetscape painting. One witness provided investigators with a smartphone video of the crime.
The $16,000 street art at the intersection at NE 1st Street and NE 2nd Avenue was unveiled Saturday and paid for by the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the Palm Beach Post reported. It features the traditional rainbow colors for gay, lesbian and bisexual pride, plus pink, white and blue for transgender people, and black and brown for people of color in the community.
"This is a deliberate act of violence against the LGBTQ community," said Rand Hoch, founder and president of the Palm Beach Human Rights Council.
"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," he added.
Jerich was being held at the Palm Beach County jail.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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