Homeless man charged with hate crimes for defecating on Pride flags at Manhattan eatery

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A homeless man in New York City has been charged with two hate crimes after defecating on a Pride flag and using another to wipe his behind at a restaurant in Manhattan, reports the New York Daily News.

The incident occurred on the morning of April 15, when Fred Innocent, 45, walked into a tapas bar in the Upper West Side and took two rainbow flags from a table. According to the NYPD, he proceeded to defecate on one and then clean himself with the other.

“This was a total hate crime,” restaurant owner Courtney Barroll told the Daily News. “He came in within 15 minutes of us opening up the restaurant. He could have gone to Popeyes or McDonald’s around the corner. He could have used napkins.”

Barroll explained that she had displayed the flags in her restaurant as a way to be welcoming to the gay community.

“We support everyone no matter what kind of background, race or lifestyle,” she said, adding that she believes Innocent deliberately used the flags because of intolerance.

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