VIDEO: Gay pride rainbow flag set on fire near Soho restaurant on suspicion of hate crime

A gay parade rainbow flag was set on fire outside a French restaurant in Soho early Monday morning on suspicion of a hate crime, a startling video released by the NYPD.

An arsonist with long red hair in a ponytail got off the passenger side of a white SUV at 1:35 a.m. lit the flag with a lighterthen took off in the same vehicle, as seen in the video.

The NYPD is asking the public for help in locating a person and vehicle depicted in attached media in connection with an arson attack within Precinct 1.  The details are as follows: The police received a report that on Monday, February 20, 2023, at approximately 01:35 am, a white four-door SUV stopped in front of The Little Prince, located at 199 Prince Street.  The unidentified person got out of the car from the front passenger side and went to the establishment on foot.  This man set fire to the gay parade flag that was hanging in front of this place.  The fire did indeed spread and caused external damage to the building.  The man immediately fled in a car driven by another unidentified person.  The vehicle was last seen moving west on Prince Street towards McDougal Street.  There were no reports of casualties in this incident.  The wanted person is described as a woman with fair skin and long dark hair.  The incident is being investigated by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force.

The Little Prince restaurant on Prince Street, off MacDougal Street, was closed for the night, but workers were still inside.

It took firefighters about half an hour to extinguish the flames, which engulfed the front canopy of the diner and the flowers hanging from it.

The Little Prince restaurant on Prince Street near McDougal Street suffered a fire.

The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating.

“Last night, this man set fire to a pride flag hanging outside The Little Prince Restaurant, causing a fire to catch fire in front of the restaurant,” Councilman Eric Botcher (D-Manhattan) tweeted.

New York City Councilman Eric Botcher displays a pride flag in front of the Little Prince Bistro on Prince Street in the West Village on Monday after the flag was burned at the site earlier in the day.

In 2019, a rainbow flag was set on fire outside a gay bar in Harlem twice in just over a month: once in June, the month of pride, and once in early July.

A 20-year-old man was later arrested for both incidents at the Alibi Lounge on Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. near W. 139th St.

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