Trump birthday rally driver arrested in vandalism of LGBTQ-inspired street art in Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A pickup truck driver participating in a Trump birthday rally faces multiple charges in the vandalism of a painted city intersection inspired by Pride Month, police said Thursday.

Alexander Jerich, 20, of Delray Beach, is charged with criminal mischief over $1,000, reckless driving and evidence of prejudice, which enhances the charge to a felony, police said. He turned himself in to police and was taken to the Palm Beach County Jail.

The intersection at Northeast First Street and Northeast Second Avenue was painted in rainbow colors as part of an effort to celebrate Pride Month, an international recognition of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people.

It was unveiled by the city on Saturday. By Monday, a set of skid marks defaced the brightly colored artwork. The marks appeared to have been intentionally, the arrest report said.

Video of the incident posted on social media shows a pickup truck doing a tire burnout across the intersection as other nearby drivers honk their horns. The drivers drove through Delray as part of a birthday rally for former President Donald Trump, whose birthday was Monday. The route was preplanned, according to Jerich’s statement to police.

The video shows a pickup truck with a blue “all aboard the Trump train” flag flying from the rear of the truck. An SUV driving in front of the truck also appears to have a Trump flag affixed to it.

Detectives were aware of the video, and it was part of their investigation, said Delray police spokesman Ted White. The person who took the video wanted to remain anonymous, the arrest report says.

“I was very happy to hear that an arrest was made,” said Claudia Harrison, a spokeswoman for Compass, a Palm Beach County-based community center for the LGBTQ community. “I was glad to hear Delray Beach Police was taking this seriously and that an arrest was made this quickly.”

Similar installations have gone up in Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach and other cities around the world.