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Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Defacing Pride Streetscape

Alexander Jerich

A viral video shows him burning tire marks into the pavement. The painting had been unveiled a day earlier as a memorial to those lost in the 2016 Pulse massacre.


A Florida man pleaded guilty Tuesday to vandalizing a Pride-themed streetscape in South Florida last year by burning tire marks into it.

Twenty-two-year-old Alexander Jerich had been participating in a rally for former President Donald Trump's birthday. He pleaded guilty to felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor reckless driving, the Associated Press reports.

The Lake Worth native drove with about 30 other vehicles in the pro-Trump rally in Delray Beach.

In a viral video, a white pickup truck featuring Trump flags is shown burning its tires into the painted road at an intersection in the city. The truck was registered to Jerich's father, according to the AP.

"By pleading guilty, Jerich has avoided a very public trial for the hate crime he committed," Rand Hoch, the president of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council and a retired judge, said in an email statement to South Florida Gay News. "It would have been impossible for Jerich to avoid being found guilty in light of the video that captured his crime."

The streetscape had been painted in honor of Pride Month and had been unveiled only a day before the rally. It had been dedicated to the victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in 2016.

Jerich originally had also been charged with a hate crime, but the State Attorney's Office didn't pursue the charge since the office said the crosswalk couldn't be considered a "victim," according to local TV station WTVX.

Prosecutors told the station they had enough evidence to prove the other charges without a doubt, but they wouldn't need to with a guilty plea.

Jerich is scheduled to be back in court in May for sentencing.

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