HAYES, Va. (WJZ) — A man was arrested after he burned an American flag outside a Virginia Walmart on the Fourth of July.
The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office posted a video showing Mitchell Stauffer as he threw an American flag on the ground of a Walmart parking lot in the 2600 Block of George Washington Memorial Highway and lit it on fire.
He was arrested for burning an object in a public place with the intent to intimidate.
“The burning of our great American Flag is very offensive to most people including me,” said Sheriff Danny Diggs. “That being said, the courts have ruled that act alone is an expression of free speech and not per se illegal. This charge is appropriate under the Code of Virginia. It is fortunate that no one was injured today.”
Deputies said he was arrested for scaring passersby who said he was yelling while he burned the flag.
Two other people were arrested Thursday after they too burned American flags near the White House just two hours before President Donald Trump’s “Salute to America” speech.
The Secret Service said one person was arrested for felony assault on a police officer and malicious burning. The other was arrested for hindering a police investigation and resisting arrest. Neither individual was identified.