Police hunt for man accused of defecating on one Pride flag and ‘wiping his backside’ on another

NYC police on the hunt for the man who defecated on two Pride Flags

New York police are on the hunt for a man after he reportedly defecated on two Pride flags.

According to a statement from the New York Police Department (NYPD), the unidentified man entered a restaurant and defecated on a rainbow Pride flag, and then “took a second Pride flag and wiped his backside with it”. 

The incident, which took place in Manhattan’s Upper West Side on 15 April, is being investigated by the police as a hate crime. 

The NYPD shared a video of who they believe to be the culprit on their Instagram tips page, saying: “The unidentified individual entered the location and defecated on a Pride flag”, adding that information would be rewarded with up to $3,500. 

According to the New York Post, the restaurant where the incident took place is Buceo 95 in Manhattan, which is reportedly an inclusive and LGBTQ+ friendly establishment. 

Nathan Nolen Edwards, the restaurant’s general manager, told the publication that the restaurant has “a very inclusive, largely LGBTQ-identifying staff” that includes professional drag queens.

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“It’s definitely a punch to the gut … We certainly haven’t experienced anything to this degree. A defecation on a Pride flag is not the norm here,” he said. 

The restaurant’s owner, Courtney Barroll, told the New York Post that she won’t back down after the alleged hate crime, and will “put 50 more [Pride flags] up … for the two flags that he has taken from us”.

This incident is sadly one of several attacks against the LGBTQ+ community in New York over the past year, with a couple attacked in the city’s popular tourist destination Times Square, a man stabbed and showered with homophobic abuse in LGBTQ+ neighbourhood Hell’s Kitchen, and the ongoing cases of two men who were drugged and robbed after leaving LGBTQ+ venues, which have now been ruled as homicides.

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.

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