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Guerneville man found guilty of stealing pride flag
Local News

Guerneville man found guilty of stealing pride flag

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A Guerneville man was found guilty by a Sonoma County jury of stealing a rainbow flag from a flagpole in the Guerneville Plaza, the District Attorney’s Office said Friday.

Vincent Joseph O’Sullivan, 55, was convicted Thursday of stealing the pride flag in the early morning hours of May 9, acting with an accomplice who has not been charged, the prosecutor’s office said in a news release.

Rainbow flags were stolen several times in April and May, unnerving residents of the Russian River area who regard their community as a refuge of acceptance of people of all gender and sexual identities.

During the trial, Sheriff’s Deputy Teddy Van Bebber testified that O’Sullivan, when questioned, did not deny taking the flag and said its presence “offended him as well as others,” the release said.

District Attorney Jill Ravitch noted that the flag thefts upset the community.

“The jury’s verdict reflects the support this community has for the rule of law and the right of all to enjoy this county,” she said in the release.

O’Sullivan still faces felony charges stemming from threats he is suspected of making to a Guerneville Safeway employee. No trial date has been set.

O’Sullivan remains free on bail bond pending his Monday sentencing for the theft.