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Taylorsville man says two pride flags vandalized outside home

Posted at 5:24 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 19:24:25-04

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — Anthony Nocella's pride is on full display outside of his Taylorsville home.

Unfortunately, it is also where he believes someone saw an opportunity to vandalize two of his pride flags.

"If they took the flag, that's one thing, they didn't want to take the flag," said Nocella.

Nocella said he came outside of his home Monday morning, after several people told him his flags were damaged.

He originally chalked it up to the rainy weather as the cause for the damage. However, after talking with some members of his homeowners association, he believes he was targeted for a hate crime.

"They wanted to make a message and that message is being gay is wrong," said Nocella.

The incident caught the attention of people at Salt Lake Community College.

"This act of vandalism where we see pride flags shredded in front of people's homes, it's alarming and it's discouraging," said Peter Moosman, Gender & Sexuality Student Resource Coordinator at SLCC.

Lucas Horns is the Director of Project Rainbow, a local nonprofit that started back in 2018 to promote LGBTQ visibility in Utah.

He says this kind of incident involving pride flags is pretty common.

"We see flags get torn or vandalized probably every year that we do this, you know, we've had flags with slurs written on them, we've had flags on fire," said Horns.

As for Nocella, he said this incident prompted him to put a few more flags up, one in his window and another over his garage.

"Whoever did that, thank you so much, we're even more excited and proud about supporting people in the LGBTQIA+ community," said Nocella.

Nocella explained he does have RING camera on his door, but it was unable to catch anything that might have happened.

He filed a report with the Taylorsville Police Department. FOX 13 News spoke with police Thursday afternoon. They said they aren't investigating this incident as a hate crime.