CRIME

Utahns reporting multiple Pride flags stolen, with one burned

Jul 1, 2023, 11:40 AM | Updated: 4:37 pm

LINDON, UTAHVandals dismantled part of 9-foot-dinosaur decoration that has dotted a Lindon neighborhood for the past five years.  

Homeowner, Sara Dye, said it wasn’t the dinosaur the suspects were going after.  

“My pride flag was gone.  The dinosaur was holding a pride flag, and that symbol of acceptance and the dinosaur’s arms were missing.  The rest of the broken dino had been dragged into the middle of the street,” Dye said.  “I was thinking to myself – it finally happened.”

Dye decorated the skeleton dinosaur for all occasions.  Denver, as neighbors fondly call the structure, has weathered the deep snow during Christmas, dressed as Cupid for Valentine’s Day, and even acted as a beacon of hope for a little boy named Rex who was fighting cancer, a few houses down.  And in June, Dye gave Denver a rainbow vibe. 

“I am very excited about pride,” Dye said. “It was a large part of my life that I couldn’t talk about when I was younger, and now living in a very Mormon neighborhood – we do try to be very respectful.”

After investigating, officers with the Lindon City Police Department found pieces of Denver and the pride flag near the Murdock Canal Trail.

“It’s still an open investigation. We have officers canvassing the area, near the canal, searching for evidence,” Lindon City Police Chief Mike Brower said.

The dinosaur used in homeowner, Sara Dye, outdoor decorations dressed in LGBTQ+ pride. (Courtesy: Sara Dye)

Dye, who identifies as queer has dealt with heavy circumstances this past month.  Dye’s sister disowned them.

“In my sister’s eyes being queer is the equivalent of being a drug addict or a murderer.  She is someone I have recently lost because she can’t take me being me,” Dye said.  “But my husband really lightened the mood when he told me that this is an opportunity to make a bigger and gayer dinosaur.”

On Wednesday, June 28, the day after Dye’s flag was stolen, the Reynolds Family received a rude awakening.  The Reynolds live about 10 minutes north of Dye’s home in Pleasant Grove.

“My wife and I were sleeping when we heard a giant snap,” Marc Reynolds said.  “Our doorbell camera captured a group approaching our pride flag with their T-shirts covering their faces and scrawny, I assume, teenage bodies.  They had a blow torch, and they burned holes in our flag.”

Marc’s wife, Jensen, went out to gather the flag that was still burning.  The surveillance video shows the attackers returning and throwing a firecracker at her from a moving grey SUV.  The firecracker burst about eight feet from her, on the sidewalk.

“Luckily she was not hurt.” Reynolds said. “We participate in the pride parades as allies.  We want to make sure we’re teaching our kids by our example.  We want them to grow up in a better world than we’re currently living.”

The flag was charred and had multiple holes. Pleasant Grove Police responded to a number of other vandalism calls, two others involving pride flags, just that night.

“Police arrived and said that it was their fourth call in 30 minutes. So, this seemed a little more organized than just a random incident,” Reynolds said.  “My three-year-old saw the burnt flag and asked why someone would do this.  It’s so sad and shocking.” 

The Reynolds took their frustration and hurt and turned it into helpfulness.  They started a fundraiser on Instagram for the Utah Pride Center with the hope of raising $500.  At last check, there was more than $1,200.

I know a lot of people have been hurt. It’s cool to see the community try to drown out the hate with their love,” Reynolds said.  “We felt scared and hurt to have someone light our flag on fire, but this is just a glimpse of what the LGBTQIA+ community has to deal with.”

This isn’t the first encounter for the Reynolds because they have displayed a pride flag.

“We were camping in the backyard with our children earlier this month, when a group started yelling expletives and anti-gay slurs over the fence.”

Since the vandalism, the Reynolds now have hand-drawn and colored pride flags taped on their windows.  

 “We have our makeshift flags up.  The neighbor kids sent those over the day after they heard what happened,” Reynolds said. 

“I know it’s just a flag – but it means a lot to a lot of people.  It shows understanding and empathy,” Dye added.

KSL 5 TV Live

Crime

emergency lights...

Mark Jones

Man taken into custody for alleged assaults at Cathedral of the Madeleine

A 31-year-old man was arrested Sunday after he allegedly began assaulting random people duing Sunday service at the Cathedral of the Madeleine.

7 hours ago

FILE PHOTO...

Collin Leonard, KSL.com

Layton man charged with killing his father now charged with threatening puppy owner

A Layton man charged this month with brutally killing his father now faces an additional criminal charge after police say he threatened to kill a man selling puppies the day before his father was found dead.

9 hours ago

FILE - Police lights (Ray Boone, KSL TV)...

Mary Culbertson

Man shot, killed in Salt Lake City homicide

One man is dead after he was shot in a Glendale neighborhood. Police are investigating the shooting as a homicide.

16 hours ago

Christopher "Topher" Owens and William "Drew" Bull were last seen on February 26 in Blanding...

Mark Jones

Man accused in the killing of two missing men earlier this year is facing additional charges

A man accused of killing two men missing from San Juan County earlier this year is facing additional charges.

1 day ago

This image contained in the criminal complaint against Alexander Yuk Ching Ma shows a screenshot ma...

Josh Campbell, CNN

Former CIA officer pleads guilty to spying for China, DOJ says

A former CIA officer targeted in an FBI undercover operation pleaded guilty Friday to providing national defense information to the People’s Republic of China.

2 days ago

The Unified police car that crashed into the suspect's yellow car....

Michael Houck and Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL TV

Unified police officer hospitalized after being hit by suspect, second officer and suspect also hospitalized

A Unified police officer was hospitalized after being hit by a suspect's truck on Friday, police say.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Utahns reporting multiple Pride flags stolen, with one burned