Man charged with hate crime for setting fire to LGBT rainbow bench

By : Wire Report
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OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (AP) — Police say they have charged a 47-year-old man with a hate crime for torching an outdoor bench that had been painted in rainbow colors by members of a northern new York to show support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Authorities in Ogdensburg say Francis Solis was charged Sept. 9 with arson and criminal mischief as a hate crime.

The arrest came a day after police released surveillance video showing a man tossing clothing into a garbage bin near the First Presbyterian Church just before the bench outside the church was set on fire.

Police say Solis turned himself in. He’s expected to be arraigned Thursday morning. It couldn’t be determined if he has a lawyer who could comment on the charges.

Investigators said the hate crime charge stems from Solis’ feelings about what the bench represented.

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