Posted By Eric Ethington on September 30, 2010
La Crosse, Wisconsin – A 14 year old girl on rollerblades was getting ready to march in the Maple Leaf Parade with the LGBT Resource Center’s float, she was carrying a rainbow/American flag hybrid. But it got ugly when Mark Schneider ran up, grabbed the flag, pushed her and screamed, “Go to a country where they will hang people like you.”
Horrifying, this was a child! Police are investigating the incident, and assault charges are pending.
The teen was rollerblading and carrying a flag pole with two rainbow flags — one a hybrid of the American flag and the gay pride flag — as members of 7 Rivers LGBT Resource Center’s float prepared for the parade about 9:45 a.m. Saturday on Rose Street, said Roseanne St. Sauver, the center’s executive director. Commodore Mark Schneider, who was on a float nearby, approached the girl and put his hands on the flagpole, St. Sauver said. St. Sauver walked over, placed her hands on the pole and told him, “Please stop, she’s a 14-year-old child.” “He said, ‘I do not care. Look what you are teaching them,’” St. Sauver said. That’s when, St. Sauver said, Schneider shoved the girl with his body. St. Sauver said Schneider told the girl: “Go to a country where they will hang people like you.“ The incident left the teen crying, and others upset, St. Sauver said. This is the first year the center has participated in the parade. “I had tears in my eyes,” she said. “He specifically targeted us and made statements about our sexual orientation.”