Area men charged in defacing vending box

SALEM, Mass. – The police investigation into the August explosion that destroyed a vending box owned by an LGBTQ newspaper has led to charges filed against men from Milford and Hollis.

Lawrence Gilman, 20, of Milford, and John Rich­ard, 23, of Hollis, were scheduled to be arraigned in Salem, Mass., district court on Friday, Oct. 21, according to Boston TV station WCVB and the Sa­lem Patch news website.

Richard and Gilman are each charged with one count of malicious or wanton defacing or dam­aging of property more than $250, and throwing, secreting, launching or placing of an incendiary device.

They are accused of placing explosives in­side a vending box for The Rainbow Times, a Boston-based publication that bills itself as "New England’s largest LGBTQ newspaper."

The explosion of the box, which was in Lappin Park in the North Shore town of Salem, was caught on video surveillance cam­eras on nearby businesses.

According to the WCVB report, the men were not charged with hate crime or bias offenses because police don’t have solid ev­idence that they targeted the box because it held an LGBTQ publication.

A spokesperson for the newspaper told news out­lets that its vending boxes have been vandalized roughly 10 times, includ­ing the August incident and a spate of vandal­ism in June, which is Gay Pride Month.