NYC Woman Charged with Hate Crime for Pride Flag Arson

NYC Woman Charged with Hate Crime for Pride Flag Arson

The woman behind the arson of West Village bistro Little Prince's pride flag is facing hate crime charges.

The restaurant’s surveillance video shows a white SUV arriving at Little Prince at 1:30 AM on February 20, from which a woman, later identified as Angelina Cando, got out and set the storefront’s Pride flag ablaze with a lighter.

Flames spread to the apartment above, requiring twelve Fire Department units and 60 firefighters and emergency responders to extinguish it. Surveillance footage spread across social media. City Councilor to the West Village, Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen Erik Bottcher, an openly gay man, posted the video to Twitter calling for constituents to report any related information to a Crime Stoppers tip line.

Cando was identified and arrested by the police the following day on the Lower East Side and is facing multiple hate crime charges including arson, criminal mischief and reckless endangerment. It's unclear if the driver of the vehicle will face charges as well.

For Little Prince, a neighborhood staple, the response of the community has been supportive, and the flag was re-hung later that day. Councilman Erik Bottcher, who hung the new, larger flag, tweeted after Cando’s arrest speaking out against hate crimes against the LGBTQ community and other marginalized groups and thanking the NYPD for Cando’s swift arrest.

In New York City, hate crimes have been on the rise, with an end-of-year report revealing a 76% increase in reported hate-related violence from 2021 to 2022. Little Prince is at least the second restaurant to be targeted by an arsonist in recent years, with famed sommelier Caleb Ganzer caught on camera having set fire to the outdoor dining area of Prince Street Pizza in 2021, later reaching a settlement agreement in 2022.

Neighbors are chiming in to show support for Little Prince as it undergoes repairs for re-opening, and the restaurant is still proudly flying its Pride flag.

Photo via Shutterstock