On June 18th, the newly unveiled crosswalk honoring he victims of the 2016 Pulse shooting was defaced by Florida-native, Alexander Jerich (20), during a rally for Donald Trump's 75th birthday. The former Presidents birthday was four days prior.
According to a recently released press report by the Delray Beach police department, Jerich took part in the “President Trump Birthday Rally” around 8 p.m., four days after the Presidents birthday, when witnesses recall hearing someone shout to Jerich “tear up that gay intersection”. The witness also recalled Jerich had a blue Trump flag attached to the tailgate of his chevy.
The route of the rally for the previous Presidents birthday went through many other streets in Delray Beach, none having shown to have skid marks other than the crosswalk.
The installation, which is located on Northeast First Street and Northeast Second Avenue, was officially unveiled the Saturday prior, which costed $16,720 and made up of eleven colors to symbolize the unity and acceptance of the LGBTQ community. Jerich performed an intentional tire burnout on the installation, marking it with black streaks on over half of the installation.
Jerich is now facing charges of criminal mischief, reckless driving, and evidence of prejudice, rightfully elevating his crime to a third-degree felony.
On Thursday, Jerich turned himself in, and was charged with criminal mischief, reckless driving and evidence of prejudice (felony enhancement).
Jerich turned himself in when the police used his license plate to track him to his home, where he turned himself in willingly.
Nicholas Coppola, a member of the Palm Beach County LGBTQ Community Center in Lake Worth Beach, urges the importance of this kind of aggression towards symbols of the LGBTQ community. “People think this is a skid mark, but we’d had so many trans-kids killed in the past few years in a short period of time, so this is a much deeper problem.” Coppola was also one of the leaders behind the rainbow artwork that had been years in the making, only to be tarnished within a week.