Paramus Police said on Sunday, October 31st, 2021, the pastor of Grace United Presbyterian Church in Wayne reported that someone had pulled down the rainbow Pride flag and flag pole displayed on the church marquee.
According to officials, Wayne Police Detective Jason Clemente canvassed the area and obtained video evidence of the crime.
Officials said that the video showed what appeared to be a male subject pulling the flag down and fleeing the scene in a black Audi A4 with silver spoked rims, tinted windows and a front license plate that was offset to the right side.
Detective Clemente forwarded this video and description to all Wayne Police Officers as well as other agencies.
The video and description was also provided to local media outlets in a request for public assistance in identifying the suspect.
Police said on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, observant Wayne Police Officer Corey Stevens spotted a vehicle matching the description while he was on a traffic control post.
He obtained the license plate number as the vehicle passed and provided it to Detective Clemente.
Further investigation led to contact with the suspect, who agreed to provide a statement at Wayne Police Headquarters.
During that statement, the suspect admitted that he pulled the flag down on the date and time and at the location of the reported incident.
Police said Mr. Dominick Theophanous, 23, of Wayne.
He was charged with Criminal Mischief and fourth-degree Bias Intimidation.
Mr. Theophanous was released on a summons in accordance with bail reform guidelines.
The charges against Mr. Theophanous are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law