The man who burned out his truck over the Pride intersection in Delray Beach last June will be sentenced on April 21 in West Palm Beach.
Alexander Jerich, 22, pleaded guilty to felony charges of criminal mischief and reckless driving on March 1.
He is being represented by attorney Robert Pasch.
"By pleading guilty, Jerich has avoided a very public trial for the hate crime he committed," Rand Hoch, the president of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC) and a retired judge, said in a previous email statement. "It would have been impossible for Jerich to avoid being found guilty in light of the video that captured his crime."
Just days after the intersection was dedicated, kickstarting Pride Month in 2021, Jerich was videotaped burning out his truck over the rainbow intersection. According to a police report, he was a part of a caravan of cars celebrating former President Donald Trump’s birthday. When they reached the intersection, a witness told police, someone yelled out, “Adam, tear up that gay intersection.” Jerich, or “Adam,” was picked out of a lineup by the witness who said he came forward “not only as a community member but as a gay man.” The report states that the cost of street space was $16,720.
Jerich was arrested on June 17 and charged with criminal mischief over $1,000, reckless driving and evidence of prejudice (felony enhancement). However, in August, Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg dropped the hate crime charge. He explained in a press conference that the case did not meet one of the requirements of the law to move forward with a hate crime — he explained that the victim was from the city of Delray Beach, which does not have a sexual orientation or gender identity.
The office also looked into charging Jerich under Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new Combating Public Disorder statute, but Aronberg said that the case did not meet the requirement of the memorial honoring or recounting “the past or public service of a Florida or United States resident.”
In October, Jerich was pulled over for driving 87 miles per hour in a 40-mile-per-hour zone. He paid $356 in fines and court fees and is also required to take a defensive driving course.