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Former Athens mayor hurt while retrieving vandalized Pride flag

Jul 08, 2021 6:00 am

Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media former Athens Mayor Chris Pfister was injured while retrieving a vandalized Pride flag in Riverfront Park in the village. He suffered three broken ribs and a broken bone in his spine, spending several days hospitalized at Albany Medical Center over the weekend, his wife Carol Pfister said on July 7. Four flags, representing pride for the LGBTQ community, were posted in the park during June for Pride Month. The flags were torn down and damaged overnight June 27. The incident has been designated a hate crime. Numerous American flags in the park remain undamaged. While three of the Pride flags were deemed salvageable, the fourth was damaged beyond repair, Carol Pfister said. Athens Pride organizer Marya Warshaw said, “We have been very clear that this is a hate crime and that when the perpetrators are found we intend to press charges.” She said it is believed the incident occurred between 3 and 3:30 in the morning based on police video surveillance. Carol Pfister later that morning found the damaged flags and discovered the poles they were hanging from had been torn down. Chris Pfister was injured when he tried to retrieve one of the flags from the ferry slip. "He is really suffering," Carol Pfister said. The vandalism remains under investigation. Mayor Amy Serrago said, “I do not feel that this is reflective of the broader community here in the village of Athens and I’m both saddened and angry that this happened.” Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.