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Suspect arrested in vandalizing of crosswalk

The ABQ Pride Parade rolls across a vandalized rainbow-colored crosswalk in southeast Albuquerque on Saturday morning. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Detectives caught the man accused of vandalizing a $30,000 rainbow crosswalk last week by spinning his motorcycle tires until one of them popped, according to the Albuquerque Police Department.

Anthony Morgan, 31, was arrested Tuesday and is charged with criminal damage to property over $1,000 in the incident, which happened last Wednesday and left skid marks across a rainbow crosswalk at Morningside and Central. It is unclear if detectives are seeking any more members of the group.

Police released this photo, allegedly from Morgan’s Instagram, following his arrest in the vandalizing of a rainbow-colored crosswalk. (Source: Albuquerque Police Department)

“I’m proud of Albuquerque for stepping up and helping police identify this offender,” Mayor Tim Keller said in a released statement. “We are an inclusive city, and this arrest sends a strong message that we will not tolerate attempts to divide us.”

The pricey crosswalk was recently installed in Nob Hill ahead of ABQ PrideFest 2019. Last week, several videos surfaced of motorcyclists riding down Central as several of them burned rubber over it.

One of the riders, allegedly Morgan, is seen spinning his tires over the paint job until the back tire popped and he had to walk the bike toward the curb.

City crews attempted to clean the damage but were unsuccessful in removing the damage and must replace the two damaged stripes altogether, costing $1,700.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, the vandalism happened around 7:15 p.m. at Central and Morningside, and was seen by numerous people and recorded by some.

One witness told police she watched around 40 motorcycle riders “causing a scene” and recorded video as some of them burned out their tires over the crosswalk.

“The riders appeared to be purposely slowing down through this intersection as she did not observe them slow down at any other intersection,” a detective wrote.

Police say they pulled another video that gives a closer view of Morgan “burning out” his back tire over the crosswalk.

“While he does this, he is being filmed by other members of the group, and he appears to be nodding to a camera,” a detective wrote. From the video, police describe the rider as being on a BMW motorcycle, having brown eyes, a long beard and wearing vest with patches reading “torch” and “president.”

Police say multiple people called in to Crime Stoppers and reported that Morgan was the rider responsible and detectives matched photos on Morgan’s Instagram to videos of the incident.

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