Orlando LGBTQ businesses vandalized by employee, police say

A 49-year-old Orlando man is being accused of vandalizing a group of LGBTQ+ businesses for which he was employed.

Martin Narvaez is facing charges of felony criminal mischief and throwing a deadly missile in connection with acts of vandalism that Orlando Police Department detectives believe he perpetrated earlier this year.

Martin Narvaez
Martin Narvaez

On Thursday, March 9, Orlando Police Department released details on the incident, which occurred at approximately 3:41 a.m. on Wednesday, January 18.

According to police, during the incident, a suspect wearing a hooded sweatshirt was caught on video surveillance vandalizing a group of businesses in the 2400 block of East South Street.

The suspect, who police have identified as Narvaez, appeared to use an unknown item to shatter the windows of two of the businesses from a short distance away.

After shattering the windows, Narvaez was then seeing running west bound on South Street, across Bumby Avenue.

The businesses, which were closed at the time and empty of employees or patrons, identify themselves as LGBTQ+ and suspected that the attack was intentional. At the time, OPD Chief Eric Smith issued a statement condemning the act of “brazen vandalism” and vowed the suspect would be “held accountable.”

In a statement issued on Thursday, OPD says its detectives interviewed Narvaez and that he confessed to committing the crime. Narvaez is a long-term employee of the business and police believe that there is “no indication that this act was motivated by prejudice or hate.”

Narvaez is currently incarcerated on a probationary violation and is now facing additional charges for the incident.

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