The New York Post reports that the incident happened at a tapas bar on the city's Upper West Side on April 15 and that video show's the man grabbing one of the restaurant's two pride flags, placing it on a chair, discharging his feces and then drawing a smiley face in the pile. He then reportedly grabbed the restaurant's second flag and wiped himself.
According to the official New York state website a hate crime is committed if a victim has been targeted "because of a perception or belief about their race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, or when such an act is committed as a result of that type of perception or belief. These crimes can target an individual, a group of individuals or public or private property."
Concerning private property crimes, "hanging a noose or painting a swastika could be deemed hate crimes," according to the website.
The official website for the city of New York clarifies that "sexual orientation" includes "gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender."
The 34-year-old general manager of Buceo 95's, where the incident took place, Nathan Nolen Edwards, said that he was a homosexual and that the establishment had a "very inclusive, largely LGBTQ+-identifying staff," including professional drag queens.
Edwards said, "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."
63-year-old owner Courtney Barroll said, "Obviously we thought it was disgusting. It was sad, it was disgusting. It angered me that people in this world have such hatred for others that they could do something so awful and so vile."
She added that to her staff, "I said, 'Don’t worry, because for the two flags that he has taken from us, I will put 50 more up, and I’ll wallpaper the whole restaurant with them.' she said. They all burst out laughing, and said 'We know you.'"
Barroll said the Hate Crimes Task Force was diligently working to find the suspect.
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