2 Fort Myer Troopers Arrested and Charged with Stealing LGBTQ+ Satisfaction Flags from Home Beside Base

Two troopers have been arrested Friday and accused of stealing LGBTQ+ Satisfaction flags not less than thrice from a home simply outdoors the gates of Fort Myer, Virginia.

Native authorities with Arlington County introduced the arrest of Spc. Matthew Henshaw, 20, and Pfc. Joseph Digregorio, 23. Each troopers are with the third Infantry Regiment, often called The Outdated Guard, the Army’s premier ceremonial unit tasked with burials at Arlington Nationwide Cemetery.

The 2 have been arrested after an investigation right into a collection of thefts focusing on the home from September to January. The Satisfaction flag is a common image utilized by homosexual, lesbian, transgender and different folks to take pride and help of associated social actions. Among the alleged thefts have been captured on video, which was reviewed by Navy.com.

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Michelle Logan lives together with her girlfriend on the home the place police say the suspects stole the flags. She mentioned 5 flags have been taken since September, with three of the incidents captured on her Ring safety digicam.

“We all know that, in Arlington, there are plenty of queer folks and allies within the space,” she advised Navy.com in an interview. “However it’s nonetheless actually exhausting to slot in if you’re queer, and this was a stark reminder for us.”

Navy.com reviewed Logan’s Ring safety footage and noticed not less than three cases of a person snatching the pleasure flag after which rapidly operating away. These incidents occurred between 1 a.m. and three a.m.; in two of them, the suspect was carrying a cowboy hat.

Police say Henshaw was charged with three counts of “illegal entry — bias motivated,” which in response to Virginia legislation is when an individual deliberately selects a property based mostly on somebody’s id, resembling race, gender or sexual orientation.

Every misdemeanor depend carries as much as 12 months in jail and/or a $2,500 wonderful. Henshaw faces three extra counts of petit larceny, which carries the identical penalty.

Digregorio was charged with one depend of petit larceny for one of many incidents that occurred Jan. 21.

Each troopers have been launched from jail. It was unclear as of Tuesday whether or not they have employed attorneys, or if the pair will face any army judicial or administrative punishments.

Navy.com couldn’t attain both for remark forward of publication.

“As this stays an energetic investigation, it might be too early to take a position on what repercussions the troopers would possibly face,” Bernhard Lashleyleidner, a service spokesperson, advised Navy.com in an announcement. “We acknowledge the worth of range and equality, and the actions of these concerned don’t symbolize the values and character of The Outdated Guard or our Army.

“We’ll proceed to work with the Arlington County Police Division all through this ongoing investigation,” he mentioned.

For Logan, there was a optimistic end result to the incidents, she mentioned. Near a dozen neighbors at the moment are flying Satisfaction flags to indicate solidarity after the troopers have been arrested.

“We’re calling it Rainbow Highway now,” she mentioned.

— Patricia Kime contributed to this report. 

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