Caught on Tape: LGBTQ Activist Arrested at WeHo Pride Festival on Charges Stemming From Drag Queen Story Hour Protest

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department made two arrests on Saturday at the WeHo Pride Festival, on Santa Monica Boulevard, one of the largest gatherings of its kind. The first suspect is identified as a prominent LGBTQ activist, Hunter Lee Darling, 25, who goes by the name “Zodiac Rose.” Deputies spotted Darling at the Pride event and arrested him on charges of robbery, vandalism, and battery stemming from an April 19 incident at the West Hollywood Library. The suspects screamed, “This is why we don’t want cops at Pride,” and other phrases proclaiming that they were targeted due to law enforcement’s alleged homophobia, during the arrests.

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Darling’s friend Abby Nicole Thomas, faces charges for interfering with the officers, according to a West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station statement:

On Wednesday, April 19, 2023, a robbery occurred at the West Hollywood library. The suspect stole the victim’s cellphone. West Hollywood Station Detectives later identified the suspect as Hunter Lee Darling. On May 31, 2023, an arrest warrant for Suspect Darling was issued by a judge.

On Saturday, June 3, 2023, deputies saw Suspect Darling during a ‘Pride Weekend’ event. West Hollywood deputies arrested Suspect Darling and booked him at West Hollywood Station for robbery, vandalism, and battery. During Suspect Darling’s arrest, Abby Nicole Thomas, a friend of Suspect Darling’s, intervened and prevented the deputies from safely completing the arrest. Abby was arrested and booked for interfering and obstructing an arrest.

Footage from the Drag Queen Story Hour event held at the West Hollywood library emerged, showing Darling stealing a man’s phone and deliberately smashing it repeatedly with his foot.

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A witness made a TikTok video regarding the arrest stating that the police had multiple opportunities to apprehend Darling, including at a protest at Saticoy Elementary School, which turned violent on Friday. The protest at Saticoy Elementary School was organized by a group called Glendale Unified School District Parents’ Voices, opposing the school’s Friday Gay Pride and Rainbow Day, including the reading of a book titled, “The Great Big Book of Families” by Mary Hoffman.

The Parent’s group reports that far-left agitators, including Antifa, disrupted the civil protest, and Darling was present at the event where violence broke out.

The witness to Saturday’s pair of arrests made a TikTok video that has circulated on social media, claiming that the police did not engage with Darling until Saturday when he confronted them about allegedly mocking their signs. The TikTok witness erroneously believed that since Darling was not arrested on Friday at the school, it meant the arrest and charges stemmed from the interactions with law enforcement on Saturday. However, the warrant for Darling’s arrest was issued last week.

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Following the arrests, Antifa staged a “No Cops At Pride” protest. While Thomas has been released, Darling is in custody with bail set at $100,000, and activists are fundraising online to pay for it.

 

Both suspects are expected to appear in court on June 6 to be arraigned.

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