Mentally ill homeless people in New York City can get away with practically anything like violently punching people in the face, starting fires and, of course, stealing from stores.
But there are limits. Real limits. Some things are beyond the pale.
A homeless man has been charged with several hate crimes for defecating on an LGBTQ+ Pride flag and wiping his behind with another at a Manhattan restaurant, according to the NYPD.
That may sound shocking, but these days it’s just another day in New York City. Had he done this with an American flag, the ACLU would be out front defending his freedom of speech. But he picked the wrong flag.
Fred Innocent, 45, walked into Buceo 95, a tapas bar on W. 95th St. and Broadway on the Upper West Side, on April 15 at about 10 a.m. as the day crew was setting up and grabbed two rainbow flags off of a table, cops said. He relieved himself on one of the banners, according to police, then cleaned himself with another.
“This was a total hate crime,” restaurant owner Courtney Barroll said after hearing of the arrest. “He came in within 15 minutes of us opening up the restaurant. He could have gone to Popeyes or McDonald’s around the corner. He could have used napkins.”
He could have used napkins!
Mr. Innocent is nuts and may not have even known what the rainbow flag meant
Innocent lives in supportive housing in Washington Heights provided by a nonprofit that focuses on New Yorkers with “serious mental illness,” according to the address given by NYPD..
But we’re going to pretend that he was making some sort of political statement here.
Workers at the eatery, many of whom identify as “largely LGBTQ+” were horrified by the gross incident.
As well they should be. For entirely apolitical reasons.
“Obviously we thought it was disgusting,” owner Courtney Barroll told The Post last month.
“It angered me that people in this world have such hatred for others that they could do something so awful and so vile,” she said.
After the incident, Barroll vowed to her staff she’d add even more flags to the restaurant.
“I said, ‘Don’t worry, because for the two flags that he has taken from us, I will put 50 more up,” she said. “And I’ll wallpaper the whole restaurant with them.”
That will show the crazy guy!
I strongly suspect that Fred has done far worse things than that, but walked away with a slap on the wrist. If even that. But if he’d done something minor, like assault women, that would be fine.
A homeless man in New York City with an extensive criminal record and an assault case pending against him was arrested last week for allegedly attacking two women at random just minutes apart, only to be released from jail under the state’s controversial bail reform laws.
Darrell Johnson, 28, was picked up by the police on Thursday for allegedly beating two women on Manhattan’s Upper West Side just minutes apart, leaving one of the victims with a ‘disfiguring’ injury and sending both to the hospital.
If only he’d soiled an LGBT flag, maybe he would have stayed locked up.