Surveillance Footage Shows Suspect Torching Gay Pride Flag

Burlington Police hope the footage generates tips that help catch the apparent arsonist

Investigators in Vermont’s largest city released surveillance video Wednesday showing a person lighting a gay pride flag on fire as it flew on the porch of an occupied home.

“We were shaking,” Chris Vaccaro of Burlington recalled in an interview last week with necn, describing his reaction when he and his husband learned their flag was torched. “Absolutely shaking. It was terrifying.”

Vaccaro said he was out of town at the time of the crime, and learned about it via text message from a neighbor.

The Burlington Police Department hopes the newly-released footage will generate tips that’ll help catch the apparent arsonist.

At the upper right corner of the footage, you can see a person walking up to the home in Burlington’s Old North End and immediately lighting the flag on fire.

The crime happened at 4:37 a.m. on June 1, the first day of LBGT Pride Month, Burlington Police said Wednesday.

“I think Burlingtonians need to respond to an act like this with support and a very vocal position of saying, ‘This is unacceptable to us,’” Dep. Chief Jon Murad of the Burlington Police Department said last week, when necn first covered the flag burning, which left melted and charred remains on the couple’s porch.

Police also shared video Wednesday of someone they’d like to talk to as part of their investigation, who was seen riding a bike near the scene of the flag-burning.

Investigators said that person may be a potential witness to the crime.

If you have information about the case, contact Detective John Stoughton at 802-540-2288.

When asked by necn last week what he would say to the person who lit the flag on fire, Vaccaro responded, “Love wins. Love wins, every time. The LGBT community is about love, not hate. We’re not going to return hate with hate, and you’re not going to douse our love.”

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