Isle La Motte residents react to recent flag vandalism

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 11:19 PM EDT
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ISLE LA MOTTE, Vt. (WCAX) - Isle La Motte residents brought their concerns about vandalism in the community to the select board on Monday night, specifically the theft and burning of pride flags around the community.

A Vermont State Police investigation identified nine total pride-flag-related crimes near Main Street, including one caught on a game camera.

State police launched a joint investigation with the Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Office. The attorney general has also been notified.

“If the select board does nothing about this, that’s tacitly accepting it, said Patrick Helman, the owner of Sandy Bottom Farm.

“We may not agree on what bumper sticker to display, but I hope we can agree destroying or defacing other people’s property is wrong, and I’d like the select board to go on record simply stating this,” said David Beckett, another resident.

While select board members did not immediately respond to the request to issue a statement, community members kept pushing for it.

They say they’ll mail out and publish a statement denouncing the crimes in the coming weeks.

The Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Office and Vermont State Police were also in attendance, encouraging people to share information and videos with them.

If the vandal or vandals get caught, Grand Isle State’s Attorney Doug DiSabito says they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

“They’ll be prosecuted,” DiSabito said. “I’m already thinking of how the sentence can be very creative and tailored to educating this person on tolerance, on acceptance and love.”

Additionally, the select board tells community members they can form their own action group. However, it would not be overseen by the town.

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