Sioux Falls man arrested after allegedly trying to burn Pride flag

Sioux Falls Police Department
Sioux Falls Police Department(Dakota News Now)
Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 2:50 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A man is facing charges after authorities say he took down a Pride flag from a Sioux Falls business and tried lighting it on fire.

The incident took place around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday on Phillips Avenue near W. 10th Street in downtown Sioux Falls.

Police spokesperson Sam Clemens said an officer saw the suspect, 24-year-old Meron Fishaye Berhe, take down the flag from a business and try to light it on fire with a small lighter. By the time the officer stopped the man, a small hole had been burned in the flag and the pole had been broken.

Berhe was arrested on reckless burning and intentional damage to property charges.

Clemens said this did not constitute a hate crime because South Dakota’s hate crime law does not cover intent to intimidate or harass someone for their sexual orientation. He said he has not heard of any other issues like this in the city during Pride month.

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