🌈 The mural painted by a group of teens for their summer project

🌈 It was dedicated on Aug. 16 at a Perth Amboy community center

🌈 Two cars were witnessed doing burnouts hours later

PERTH AMBOY — A 19-year-old man and a teenage boy were charged Thursday in connection with defacing an LGBT crosswalk art hours after it had been unveiled.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone said two vehicles were seen doing burnouts on the mural on Brighton Avenue in front of the Brighton Avenue Community Center before driving away on August 16. Video was also posted online, according to the prosecutor.

Alexis Reynozo, 19, of Perth Amboy, and the teen from the Hopelawn section of Woodbridge were taken into custody and charged in connection with the vandalism. Reynozo was charged via summons with second-degree bias intimidation and third-degree criminal mischief.

The teen was charged with an act of juvenile delinquency for offenses which, if committed by an adult, would equal bias intimidation criminal mischief and resisting arrest.  Ciccone did not disclose a reason for the vandalism.

Embodiment of a welcoming spirit

Mayor Helmin Caba in a citation read at the unveiling of the "Proud to be me" mural said it embodies Perth Amboy's "welcoming and inclusive spirit."

"It will serve as a reminder to all our residents that regardless of their background or identity they are valued community members," reads the citation.

The mural was a creation by the high school members of Emerging Leaders Cohort 6, a public health program that is part of the city's Jewish Renaissance Foundation.

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