Pride flag ripped from home in Queens, Stonewall flags vandalized

Friday, June 16, 2023
Police search for 2 young men who vandalized a Pride flag at a Queens home
Derick Waller has more on the vandalism of Pride flags in the city.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New surveillance video released Friday shows yet another hate-filled crime in New York City involving Pride flags, the third such incident in less than a week.

Two people were caught on camera ripping a Pride flag from a home on 190th Street in Fresh Meadows, Queens around 7:23 p.m. on Tuesday.

The suspects fled the scene on foot, in possession of the flag, southbound on 190th Street.

They had ripped the flag down so aggressively that they damaged a fixture in the process.

But the gay couple who lives here is getting the last word. By early Friday morning, there was a new Pride flag in place.

The people being sought are believed to be young men, approximately in their late teens, with light complexions and thin builds.

This same home was targeted for its flag two summers ago.

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That crime was also caught on surveillance video, but the young men seen in that video were never caught.

Clearly, someone is trying to send a message of hate as we celebrate Pride month.

"These are people who live in the neighborhood that are doing this," homeowner Rich Marzullo told Eyewitness News reporter Derick Waller. "Somebody knows who they are, and they need to know that they can't keep doing this!"

The brazen case of vandalism is the third such incident in our area in less than a week - and it's happening as we celebrate Pride month.

On Thursday morning, nearly a dozen Pride flags were discovered broken and torn down outside the historic Stonewall National Monument at Christopher Park in Greenwich Village.

Images from the scene showed transgender Pride flags, which contain five horizontal stripes of three colors - light blue, light pink and white - appear to have been targeted.

And last weekend there was a similar case of vandalism at the same location.

"People think you can come to New York, be whoever you want to be," said Marzullo. "And we see time and time again, it happens everywhere - even when you least expect it."

Despite this, Marzullo's neighbors in Queens say they've got his back.

"They're perfect neighbors!" said Rita Merlis. "Why would anybody do that?"

"It's little children, it looks like to me," said Lisa Moise. "Mischievous little children."

"It's subtle, but it's not subtle," said Merlis. "It's the turn of the knife. Not good."

All of these incidents are being investigated as potential hate crimes, meaning if and when someone is arrested, the charges will be elevated.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them.

Call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit tips by visiting the CrimeStoppers website at or by messaging on Twitter @NYPDTips.


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