St. Pete Police arrest Pride mural vandal

Christian Maier. (Photo via the St. Pete Police Dept.)

ST. PETERSBURG | The St. Petersburg Police Department arrested Christian Maier July 1, charging the 18-year-old local in the vandalism of the city’s Progressive Pride street mural.

The mural was community-funded and completed in 2020 at 25th St. and Central Ave. in the Grand Central District, the birthplace of St Pete Pride. According to SPPD, Maier was recorded doing “doughnut-burnouts” on May 22 at 3:45 a.m. after its annual refresh May 6, “recklessly maneuvering his car in a way to leave several tire marks across the mural and causing significant damage.”

Following the incident, Mayor Ken Welch announced the mural would be repainted ahead of Pride month. LGBTQ+ advocates completed the task ahead of St Pete Pride’s month of festivities on May 30:

“I want to emphasize that there is no place for hate in St. Petersburg,” the mayor shared May 24. “We stand united in valuing and appreciating every resident, regardless of their orientation, gender identity, or expression. Our differences make St. Pete the vibrant and diverse community we cherish.”

SPPD advised July 1 that Maier is charged with “felony criminal mischief and racing on a street.” The department also noted that the investigation is ongoing.

“It’s great to have an arrest in this case due to the hard work from the detective and the information provided from the community,” Major Markus Hughes, the department’s LGBTQ+ liaison, added to Watermark. Read more about the arrest below:

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