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Will taxpayers have to pay to repaint vandalized LGBTQ crosswalk?

A vandalized LGBTQ Pride intersection and crosswalk at Northeast First Street and Northeast Second Avenue in Delray Beach on June 28, 2021.jpg
Posted at 3:10 PM, Jun 28, 2021

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Two weeks after a new LGBTQ Pride intersection and crosswalk were vandalized in Delray Beach, it's still unclear who will pay to repaint them.

The skid marks are still left on the Pride crosswalk on Monday.

"Definitely deliberate and intentional," said Nicholas Coppola.

Coppola said it's still hard to watch the video of a truck leaving those marks. Police arrested 20-year-old Alexander Jerich for the crime.

Delray Beach officials said it looks like the entire intersection would need to be repainted.

The original cost for the crosswalk was $16,000 all paid for by the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council and the AIDS Health Care Foundation.

But the taxpayers could be the ones responsible for paying for the repaint.

"I think it would be incredibly unfair to the residents and taxpayers and my community to be burdened with that," said Rand Hoch, the president and founder of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. "He did the damage, not the taxpayers of the Delray Beach."

Hoch said he is asking the State Attorney's Office to use the new anti-riot law. He said the new law now protects monuments from being vandalized and he believes all the factors, in this case, qualify for the new law.

"If the legislatures wanted a law like this to protect monuments, they have one," Hoch said.

Hoch said the law would also require the suspect to pay the damages, instead of relying on restitution being approved by a judge or jury

"This is clear, the is a part of the punishment, they have to pay for the cost of the repair," Hoch said.

The State Attorney's Office said it has not made any final decision on any new charges for Jerich, and will have more information later this week.

Delray Beach officials said they are working with the vendor who painted the crosswalk to see when they can get back out here and fix it.