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 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 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.
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.