Hurricane Katrina blows ashore in southeast Louisiana. (Aug. 29th) AP
VINELAND - A 16-year-old teen was arrested Monday and charged with bias intimidation for allegedly stealing and burning a rainbow flag a resident displayed to show support for the LGBTQ community.
A rainbow garden flag was reported stolen Saturday from a residence in the 2100 block of East Chestnut Avenue. The banner, which was burned, was returned to the resident's property later in the day, according to police,
The investigation was immediately turned over to the department's detective bureau, in accordance with the N.J. Attorney General's Order for Bias Incidents.
Detective Luis Rodriguez and Sgt. Chris Brunetta collected evidence at the scene and conducted interviews, which led to them to a suspect who was brought in for questioning.
The 16-year-old admitted his involvement in the theft and burning of the resident's flag, police said. He was charged with bias intimidation and criminal mischief.
The teen was released to the custody of his legal guardian pending a court hearing.
Police Chief Rudy Beu noted his department takes bias crimes very seriously and vowed to dedicate the maximum amount of resources to hold people accountable for such activities.
Deborah M. Marko: (856) 563-5256; firstname.lastname@example.org