Florida Man Faces Felony Charge Over ‘Pride’ Crosswalk Incident

In Delray Beach, Florida, what appears to be a routine act of vandalism earlier this month has sparked significant controversy and debate across the nation. Nineteen-year-old Dylan Brewer from Clearwater found himself at the center of this storm after allegedly performing multiple burnouts on an LGBT “pride-painted” intersection with his truck.

This incident was captured on surveillance video. After being reviewed by authorities, Brewer has been charged with felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor reckless driving.

The targeted intersection, allegedly a symbol of unity and inclusivity for the LGBT community, was damaged by Brewer’s actions, according to the Delray Beach Police Department. Video footage revealed Brewer’s lifted pickup truck, adorned with LED underbody lights and a flag, spinning its tires across the brightly colored rainbow mural. The incident left two curved tire marks on the streetscape painting.

Following a week-long investigation that included multiple reports from residents and cell phone videos provided by witnesses, Brewer turned himself in to the police. He was subsequently released Tuesday on a $5,250 bond.

This event has stirred discussions about the severity of Brewer’s charges and the nature of the incident itself. Some argue that the charges, particularly the act’s classification as felony criminal mischief, are excessively punitive and politically charged. Critics suggest that the felony charge is more about Brewer’s perceived political beliefs, underscored by the Donald Trump flag on his vehicle, than public safety or property damage.

Furthermore, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council’s call for the vandalism to be considered a hate crime has added another layer of complexity to the debate. This perspective underscores a broader societal struggle over how acts of vandalism are interpreted and punished, especially when they intersect with politically sensitive symbols or messages.

The same mural was damaged in the case of Alexander Jerich, who committed a similar act of vandalism in 2021. His punishment included probation and an educational component, wherein he was ordered to write an essay about the victims of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting.

Delray Beach’s Mayor Shelly Petrolia has described the targeted artwork as embodying “solidarity, inclusion, and visibility.”