Police have arrested a suspect in connection with vandalism at two LGBTQ+ community centers in Orlando last month.
Orlando officers Wednesday arrested Matthew Michael Robinson, 34, the police department announced on X (formerly Twitter). He is charged with three counts of criminal mischief. Police will be seeking an enhancement of the charges “for evidence of prejudice during the commission of these crimes,” the announcement said.
Police were called August 26 to two neighboring centers, Zebra Youth and the LGBT+ Center Orlando, where murals had been spray-painted with homophobic and transphobic messages, Nazi symbolism, and images that could be interpreted as a gun’s crosshairs. The messages included “Gay is not ok” and “Save kids’ lives from trans lies.”
The investigation is continuing, and police ask that anyone with information contact the Orlando department’s criminal investigations division or send in anonymous tips through Crimeline.org or by calling (800) 423-8477.
“We would like to express our gratitude toward the Orlando Police Department, FBI, and the community for their outpouring of support,” Heather Wilkie of Zebra Youth told TV station WKMG. “We have confidence that justice will be served, and we will continue to show that we will not let hate win.”
The LGBT+ Center posted a statement on Facebook praising the “swift action from the Orlando Police Department.”
“We want to thank our community for the immediate support we received,” the statement continued. “In less than 24hrs we were able to repaint the murals and demonstrate that love & community triumph over hate.”
Pictured: Graffiti and suspect Matthew Michael Robinson