Vincent Joseph O’Sullivan has been charged with petty theft, making criminal threats and a hate crime.
A California man has been arrested after stealing rainbow flags and threatening to detonate pipe bombs at a local supermarket. Sheriffs say Vincent Joseph O’Sullivan, 55, planned to set off bombs at the Guerneville Safeway and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office substation in order to injure deputies and members of the LGBT community.
On Saturday O’Sullivan was booked on suspicion of petty theft, making criminal threats and a hate crime. He is being held on $50,000 bail.
He first stole a flag from a public square outside the chamber of commerce on April 26 and then took a replacement flag several days later.
Elise VanDyne, executive director of the Russian River Chamber of Commerce, told the Press-Democrat that the flag wasn’t actually the chambers, but had been put in the square by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
The flag has been restored again, along with a U.S. flag and California state flag, with a new locking mechanism.
Guerneville and the Russian River area have been known as a vacation destination since the 1960s, with numerous gay bars, LGBT-friendly resorts and a large local Pride parade.