Police said a 60-year-old man told them he set fire to a flag supporting President Donald Trump — which was hanging from a home on his newspaper route — because he was "angry," NorthcentralPA.com reported.
What are the details?
Harrison Bennett was charged with felony arson after police in Shamokin City, Pennsylvania, said he set the flag ablaze when it was attached to an occupied building, the outlet said.
Bennett is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before District Judge John Gembic on Nov. 10, the outlet added.
Officer Tyler R. Bischof said Bennett used a cigarette lighter to burn a Trump flag attached to a house in the 400 block of South Shamokin St. just after 3 a.m. Aug. 27, the outlet reported, citing a Sept. 4 criminal complaint.
The homeowner had a video of the flag burning incident, and a photograph from the video was posted to the Shamokin Crime Watch Facebook page in an attempt to identify him, Bischof told the outlet.
Police said they got a tip that the man in the video may work for a paper in the city, the News-Item, the outlet noted. Turns out Bennett helped another man deliver newspapers along a route that included the scene of the flag burning, the outlet added, citing the complaint.
"Bennett said that he has anger problems and that it spilled over and so he lit the flag," Bischof wrote, according to NorthcentralPA.
What did the suspect have to say?
Bennett made the following written statement: "I got up at 2:00 am and went and helped with newspaper. Was angry and burned flag," the outlet said, citing the complaint.
Besides felony arson, Bennett also was charged with one felony count of risking catastrophe and one count of summary criminal mischief.
More of the same
Pro-Trump flags and banners seem to be occupying a more prominent space within the news cycle as the presidential election draws closer:
- A Massachusetts mom earlier this month was punched through her SUV window by another woman who didn't like her Trump flags — all while the victim's daughter, 11, watched from the back seat.
- Anti-Trump vandals have been going to town in an Arizona neighborhood ripping up Trump signs and banners — but leaving alone signs for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
- And also earlier this month a New Jersey public school teacher ordered a student to take down a flag supporting Trump that was hanging in his room — and was visible during an online class — or leave the virtual session.