District Dive and Southern Craft, two LGBTQ bars in the Milk District, had their windows shattered overnight Wednesday by what video surveillance suggests was a man wearing a hoodie.
The video, released on District Dive’s Facebook page before later being shared by the Orlando Police Department, shows the suspect walking up and down the sidewalk on South Street before shattering the windows with an “unknown item,” according to an OPD press release.
The bars were attacked between 3:30 a.m. and 4 a.m., when the bars were closed and no employees were around. The owners of District Dive called the incident “a suspected hate crime.”
OPD, which responded to the scene when it was reported hours later, said it is “in the beginning of its investigation.”
“The Orlando Police Department does not tolerate criminal behavior of any kind. Whoever committed this brazen vandalism against our city’s LGBTQ+ businesses will be held accountable,” OPD Chief Eric Smith said in a statement.
District Dive, Southern Craft and Southern Nights, nestled in the same corner of South Street and Bumby Avenue, are popular spots in Orlando’s LGBTQ nightlife. Despite the attack, they were operating normally Wednesday night and the rest of the week as police investigate.
“My heart is heavy,” Florida Rep. Anna Eskamani wrote in a series of tweets, in which she also called the incident a hate crime. “... At Team Anna, we remain committed to LGBTQ+ equality and safety for all.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact OPD at 321-235-5300 or Crimeline at 800-423-8477.