A Guerneville, California man was arrested Saturday after threatening to set off pipe bombs at a Safeway in order to harm gay people and stole two rainbow flags from the Guerneville Chamber of Commerce, throwing one in the Russian River.
The suspect’s intent was to injure sheriff’s deputies and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, Lt. Eddie Engram said in a statement. The rainbow flag is a symbol of the LGBTQ pride movement.
Vincent Joseph O’Sullivan was booked into the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of petty theft, making criminal threats and a hate crime, and was held on $50,000 bail.
The first flag theft from the pole in a public plaza at the corner of First Street and River Road was reported on April 26, and on May 5 a replacement rainbow flag was stolen, Engram said.
Deputies investigating the thefts learned of the pipe bomb threats and determined that O’Sullivan was the suspect in both matters, he said.
Guerneville, CA is a town of 4500 people in wine country. It swells to 3x that size every weekend….mostly catering to gay clientele. It’s earned the nickname the “Gay Riveria” It has been a gay destination since the late 1970’s.