A woman has been arrested and charged with multiple hate crimes after lighting a “Make America Gay Again” flag on fire outside a Manhattan restaurant.
Angelina Cando, 30, allegedly pulled up to a restaurant called Little Prince in a white SUV just after 1:30 a.m. Monday.
A woman believed to be Cando exited the vehicle from the passenger seat and appeared to set fire to the flag with a lighter.
The fire caused minor damage to the exterior of the building.
‼️ WANTED- Arson ‼️
This individual is wanted for an Arson that occurred at Little Prince in SoHo. A Pride flag was burned causing damage to the restaurant and residential building above it. The perpetrator fled in the pictured vehicle.
Contact @NYPDTips or 1 800 577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/2s8VES8dMx
— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) February 20, 2023
The NYPD Hate Crimes unit sought information about her identity on social media.
ABC News reports that “Cando is also accused of writing ‘Jesus is King’ on two NYPD cruisers parked outside a Manhattan precinct in lower Manhattan, according to police. This incident was also caught on surveillance video, police said. She was charged with making graffiti, criminal mischief and criminal possession of graffiti instruments, police said.”
Cando’s charges related to the flag incident include arson as a hate crime, criminal mischief as a hate crime and reckless endangerment as a hate crime.
The French restaurant has since put up a new flag.
“Thank you to @NYPDNews for the swift apprehension of the person who set fire the pride flag and Little Prince restaurant,” Council Member Erik Bottcher, who represents the district where the restaurant is, said in a tweet. “Anyone who is contemplating attacks against the LGBTQ community, or any marginalized group, should know they will be held accountable.
Thank you to @NYPDnews for the swift apprehension of the person who set fire the pride flag and Little Prince restaurant. Anyone who is contemplating attacks against the LGBTQ community, or any marginalized group, should know they will be held accountable. https://t.co/uDOULltYRJ
— NYC Council Member Erik Bottcher (@ebottcher) February 22, 2023
“I want to note that this flag is five times the size of the original flag,” Bottner said. “So the person who did this, their plan has backfired — and backfired badly.”