Vandals strike during Pride month

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NEWBURGH, Ind. (WEHT) – Supporters gathered in Newburgh Friday to celebrate Pride month. And while tonight’s caravan went off without a hitch, earlier this week some vandalism took place at a business which had pride flags on display.

Sweet Emotions has been in business for nearly ten years, and the owner said they’ve always decorated for Pride.

“We’ve always decorated for Pride and always posted, you know, in our support have never once I’ve never had a negative comment. So I was pretty shocked,” said owner Amber Perkins

Two young boys took it upon themselves to tear down her Pride flags and store signs, while also overturning chairs.

“The more disturbing part I think was on the video, from our neighbor’s Ring camera, were the words that were being used that made it obvious what, you know, the purpose of it was,” said Perkins.

It wasn’t the first time, there was some backlash. Last year the neighboring business received an anti-pride flier on its door in response to their Pride flag.

Those negative actions inspired one Newburgh town council member to take her own positive actions by helping pass a resolution to recognize Pride month.

“The council took it upon ourselves to pass this resolution, that we actually are very welcoming of all people,” said Allyson Shelby.

The community sprung into action as the security video of the vandalism spread across social media.

“We had educators, we had parents of students who had seen it on Snapchat. It was out there so it was quickly you know, able to be determined who it was,” said Perkins.

As for the actions of the two juveniles, the boutique owner had her own idea on how she’d like to address it.

“Perhaps a face-to-face conversation, could maybe help change their hearts a bit? Or at least give them a face to these, you know, the symbols that it is that disturb them, that they defaced,” said Perkins.

“It’s all about being kind and you know, you never know what kind word you might share with somebody and how that can truly impact them and the type of day that they’re having. At the end of the day, we’re one human family and we’re all in it together to live a happy life,” said Dustin Potts.

Major Jonathan Scully from the Newburgh Police Department said the case has been forwarded to juvenile probation, and that he is working closely with Perkins to coordinate that sit-down meeting with the juveniles.

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