Police in Orange, Texas, are finalizing an arrest warrant for a man accused of dragging an American flag behind his car on the Fourth of July — and then allegedly punching and breaking the jaw of another driver who attempted to save the flag, KFDM-TV reported.
Brandon Scott wrote about the incident on Facebook, KBMT-TV reported, saying he initially thought the car was dragging a sign by mistake. When Scott saw the driver pull into a Home Depot, he indicated he waved down the driver and told him he was dragging something behind the car — and then the driver punched him in the jaw, the station added.
Image source: KBMT-TV video screenshot
"As he drives approaching me, I get out and wave him down, 'Hey man, you're dragging something behind you,'" Scott wrote on Facebook, according to KOGT-TV. "As I approach the back of his car to help him remove, I see it's an American flag. I'm squatting down and turn to let him know, and that's where he cheap shots me in the jaw and drives off. A good citizen follows and gets the license plate. All of this while my son is in the car."
What did an apparent witness have to say?
"The man in red was assaulted at Home Depot in Orange because he went to pick up a flag that was dragging behind a vehicle thinking that the owner didn't know his flag had fallen," Marshall Babcock told KBMT in an email. "The owner of the vehicle hit the man in the face, started rambling about slavery, and then just drove off."
What happened to the alleged victim?
Scott told KMBT he suffered multiple jaw fractures that required surgery, and that he'll need his jaw wired shut for a month.
KFDM said Scott was released from the hospital Friday. Scott's Facebook post regarding the incident apparently has been taken down.
What may be next?
Capt. Robert Enmon with the Orange Police Department told KFDM that authorities are looking at an "aggravated assault" charge given the victim's injuries — as well as a U.S. flag desecration charge under Texas law, which is a misdemeanor.
Image source: KFDM-TV video screenshot
Enmon added to KOGT that police have surveillance video from the Home Depot, and that Investigators were in a Beaumont hospital Friday morning to interview the victim. He also told KFDM that social media comments about the incident became racial in nature.
What did the alleged perpetrator have to say?
Enmon told KOGT that the 46-year-old suspect, who lives in Houston, called police and told them he was protecting his property.
The alleged culprit also claimed on Scott's Facebook page that Scott blocked his car and then tried to take the flag, KOGT added. The alleged suspect said he feared for his life, the station said.