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Pride flags are being burned in Rochester

RPD and RFD are investigating as arson

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - A possible attack against the local LGBTQ community happened this week - less than 24 hours after Election Day.

There have been reports of rainbow pride flags being burned outside homes in Rochester. News 8 spoke with two people, locally, who had flags that were burned.

One of the homes that was targeted was on Marion Street. The other was on Atlantic Avenue - just a few blocks away from each other.

The victims, Greg Ventura and Lois Graham, say that they are shocked and believe that this was a hate crime.

"They sent out police and firemen to investigate," said Ventura. "As soon as the word hate crime was used, I realized the severity of the message behind the burning of my flag."

Ventura's flag was set on fire while still attached to his house - and fire officials told him that because of the flammable vinyl siding on his porch, the fire could have easily been worse.

"It's ok to hate now," said Graham. "That's the message that's being spread now, and I know a lot of people that are scared." 

Police are working with the Rochester Fire Department to investigate the incidents as arson. No suspects are currently in custody.

Police also say they are working in conjunction with the Gay Alliance on these two incidents. Anyone with information is being asked to call 911.


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