The Bethel Police Department has launched an investigation after a coffee shop's pride flag was burned and left at the front door.
According to police, two men were seen on video taking the coffee shop's pride flag on Saturday night. One of the suspects then returned the flag to the business, only this time, it was damaged.
Molten Java is a coffee shop that prides itself on creating an opening and welcoming environment for people of all ages, races, and sexual orientations.
"This felt somehow much more personal than I experienced in a really long time and I cried," said Wendy Cahill, the owner of Molten Java. "We want to create a community of people who are happy coming in."
Cahill is a member of the LGBQ+ community and believes the shop is the perfect environment for people who want to be themselves and relax.
Marissa Amundsen is a barista at the coffee shop and found out what happened after her coworker discovered the flag just minutes before she came in for her shift on Sunday.
"I saw it behind the counter and thought what happened and it didn't cross my mind that it was something born of hate," said Amundsen. "It blows my mind especially in this day in age, you would think people would be past it."
Molten Java is a part of Link Clancy's every day routine. Clancy stops by the shop every day for their fresh coffee, kind baristas and the freedom to be who you want once you step inside.
"It was the first place I went to when I moved into this town," said Clancy. "This is a place that supports the people of the community and they really encourage you to be yourself and who you are intended to be."
There's being an outpouring of support from the community. People have stopped by to donate more pride flags and offered their support buy buying coffee and other sweet treats.
The people who come in regularly say they're leaning on the shop's motto of being kind, creating an inclusive community, and having the strength to overcome bigotry.
"It's always been a place that the people of Bethel flock to if they don't have a place to be," said Amundsen. "People are always welcome to come inside and we're really just happy to be here to make some really good drinks."
The incident is still under investigation and anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the police department.
The coffee shop issued a statement on Facebook: