Concord Man Accused of Burning Church's Rainbow Flag Arrested for Hate Crime: Police | NBC Bay Area
East Bay

East Bay

The latest news from around the East Bay

Concord Man Accused of Burning Church's Rainbow Flag Arrested for Hate Crime: Police

The alleged hate crime occurred at the Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church and is part of recent vandalism surrounding the Rainbow flag.

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    An East Bay man accused of burning a gay flag has been arrested on suspicion of a hate crime, police said. Cheryl Hurd reports. (Published Wednesday, April 20, 2016)

    An East Bay man accused of burning a rainbow flag has been arrested on suspicion of a hate crime, police said.

    The alleged hate crime occurred at the Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church and is part of recent vandalism surrounding the Rainbow flag.

    "I am surprised and angry as I can be, while keeping a Christian attitude about the whole thing," parishioner Dale Scovill said.

    Scovill said the flag has been taken down eight times in the past six months, including three times this week.

    On Tuesday, the flag was taken down and burned, according to Pastor Barbara Barkley. A note written in Spanish was also found during the suspected hate crime.

    Barkley said the message said "all evil will be eradicated." It is a message she said is filled with hate, but her church is about forgiveness.

    "We are a church that professes openness and inclusion," Barkley said. "We will continue to be so."

    Police were called on Tuesday after someone noticed a man taking down the flag. Police said they arrested Concord-resident John James Hurst a block away from the church.

    Hurst is being charged with a hate crime, two counts of arson, petty theft and vandalism, police said.

    An investigation is ongoing.

    Get the latest from NBC Bay Area anywhere, anytime
    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android