Gay pride flag ripped down from home of activist on Long Island

LONG BEACH, Long Island (WABC) -- A veteran gay rights activist claims she was the victim of a hate crime when a man ripped a gay pride flag from her apartment door on Long Island.

"I'm scared about retaliation, I'm scared about what this guy could do next if he already did something like that, so right now I'm scared for myself and my daughter and family," said 34-year-old Lauren, a mom, school teacher, DJ, and gay rights activist.

Late Thursday night, just before midnight, someone stole her gay pride flag from her apartment in Long Beach.

She says there were other flags in her complex, but only hers was ripped down.

"He walked past other flags, American flags, Rangers flags, and he chose to target the gay flag," she said.

There are numerous surveillance cameras which captured different angles of the theft. The man is seen exiting the complex with a neighbor, then exits alone with the flag in his hand.

Lauren has filed a police report and has learned the name of the man from her neighbor. But so far there has not been an arrest, which means she remains on edge, not sure if he will return and do something worse.

"I just don't understand how people in this day and age can still have so much hate," said a neighbor, Luke Skolkin. "I have family members that are gay, most of my friends are gay, what's the problem?".

Lauren says her flag was found in the dumpster the next day. Since then, she has been sleeping with her lights on, while waiting for an arrest. Police right now are not treating this as a hate crime.

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