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A Trump supporter who vandalized a gay pride streetscape in Delray Beach pleaded guilty Tuesday to reckless driving and criminal mischief.
Alexander Jerich, of Lake Worth Beach, used a pickup truck to burn tire marks across a rainbow-flagged intersection downtown June 14, an event captured on a video that went viral.
The video shows the intersection damaged by a pickup truck with a blue “all aboard the Trump train” flag, part of a group of vehicles that had participated in a birthday rally for President Trump.
The criminal mischief charge is a third-degree felony that carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. The reckless driving charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year. A sentencing date has not been set in Palm Beach County circuit court.
Jerich’s attorney, Robert Pasch, said his client “has consistently expressed his deepest remorse for what occurred.”
“Alex’s public silence thus far should in no way be construed as a lack of remorse,” Pasch said in a written statement. “Our courts advise clients charged with an offense to not speak about their case until their case is resolved. Today Alex entered a plea in open court.
“Alex would like to once again express his deepest remorse to the LGBTQ community and hopes that today’s resolution helps those hurt by his actions to move towards healing.”
“By pleading guilty, Jerich has avoided a very public trial for the hate crime he committed,” said Rand Hoch, a retired judge who serves as president of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. “It would have been impossible for Jerich to avoid being found guity in light of the video that captured his crime.”
The intersection of Northeast First Street and Northeast Second had been painted in rainbow colors as part of a celebration of Pride Month, an international recognition of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people.
The city of Delray Beach is also seeking compensation from Jerich for the damage.
David Fleshler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 954-356-4535.