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Suspect in Arson of Gay Bar's Pride Flag Sentenced to Time Served

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday December 4, 2020

The suspect in a 2019 arson case involving a Pride flag belonging to a Des Moines gay bar has been set free after being sentenced to time served, local newspaper the Des Moines Register reports.

Daniel Rosemark, 42, had told police that he torched the flag, which belonged to the gay bar Blazing Saddles, in November of last year because "he was upset that the rainbow has been adopted by the homosexual community," the Register recalled.

Rosemark "who is homeless, was seen on video tearing down the flag outside the bar and lighting it on fire in November 2019," the newspaper added. "The case was put on hold in January after Rosemark was found incompetent to stand trial, and resumed in October after he received treatment in a state facility."

He was charged with "reckless use of fire or explosives as a hate crime and drug possession," and pled guilty to those charges.

The Register reported at the time that Rosemark was accused of tearing down the flag at about 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 6, 2019, after he had been chased away from the bar at around 8:00 the previous evening by the bar's owner, Bob "Mongo" Eikleberry, who had seen Rosemark "grabbing at" a Pride flag outside of the establishment.

Eikleberry discovered the charred flag the next morning, along with a flagpole that had been ripped down.

"Video surveillance showed that it took the suspect several attempts and nearly eight minutes to finally light the blaze," the Register reported at the time.

"If everything goes down, he's gonna have a new home for quite a while," Eikelberg told the newspaper a year ago.

Rosemark could have been sentenced to as much as three years, so being released after time served was a relatively light punishment. However, the suspect is in jail once more, the Register reported.

"Court records show he was arrested again the day after his release after police say he told an officer unprompted that he had drugs on him and gave the officer a marijuana joint."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.