Only one week after a Pride flag from the local Rye pRYEde group was found burned, four additional Pride flags were taken from Rye homes overnight Friday. One of the homes targeted in the vandalism belongs to Rye Mayor Josh Cohn.
Talking about the vandal who took his Pride sign, Rye Mayor Josh Cohn told MyRye.com “I hope that he or she will be brought to justice.” He continued “This city’s commitment to the rights of all including LGBTQ+ is unshakable.” Cohn lives on Green Avenue off Forest Avenue.
A police report was filed Saturday morning by the local pRYEde group after the four Pride flags and a Biden for President sign were recovered in the bushes at the intersection of Forest Avenue and Martin Butler Court. “This is getting out of hand,” said Genevieve Weber Gilmore, one of the co-founders of the Rye pRYEde group.
Another Pride sign was taken from the home of Stefanie Kalkut, whose home is at the intersection of Stanley Keyes Court and Forest Avenue. Speaking about the Pride sign after it was recovered and returned to her, Kalkut said “I am happy to have it back.” Kalkut, a Rye native, lives in the house with her husband and son and said the sign “shows what I am about, what my family is about and what Rye is about.”
Kalcut said is was the third time her Pride flag had been taken, that two Black Lives Matter signs have been taken and never recovered and that the family’s Biden for President sign has been taken twice.
Based on the original flag burning last week, there is an active investigation underway by the Rye PD. If an arrest is made, a determination will be made by the Westchester DA if the incident or incidents will be prosecuted as a hate crime.