AMES – An Ames man is behind bars after he allegedly tore a gay pride flag off the wall of a church and tried to burn it.
The incident took place Monday evening, June 10, 2019 at the Ames United Church of Christ, 217 6th street. According to a statement from the church, “a 30 year old man who lives one block from our church tore down the God is Still Speaking queer pride banner from the southwest corner of our sanctuary and tried to set it on fire. He was intercepted and arrested by the Ames Police Department.”
Later, another statement from the church read, “On speaking with the police commander, I can share with you that this act of violence against our church was part of a larger series of events. However, the suspect specifically named our pride banner as a target, bypassing our much easier to reach pro-immigrant and pro-Muslim banner. It seems that our affirmation of God’s love for LGBTQIA+ people was bothersome enough that in a time of crisis, that affirmation became the target of his anger.”
WHOTV reported that an employee at nearly gentlemen’s club told them, “He was holding the flag in one hand and he was spraying it with lighter fluid at the same time in doing that he caught a patrons car tire on fire.”
Arrested was Adolfo Martinez and charged with 1st degree harassment and reckless use of fire or explosives, court records show.