RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond man accused of burning an American flag flying from a front porch in Richmond, Virginia, has been charged with arson, police said.
Andrew Rosas, 26, turned himself in at Richmond police headquarters about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, authorities said.
A surveillance camera captured a man lighting an American flag on fire on a front porch in Richmond’s Fan District. The incident happened shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday.
The video was posted on Facebook by the homeowner’s neighbor and spread quickly across the social network.
In the video, it appears the unknown man initially attempted to remove the flag but failed. He can then be seen lighting the flag on fire and quickly walking away.
The owner of the home, Jim Tanner, told WRIC he was asleep when the incident occurred. He cringes at the thought of what could have happened.
“He endangered my property, myself, my neighbors,” Tanner said. “These houses are 115 to 120 years old. They go up real quick. They’re tinderboxes.
The entire front porch of his home is wood, and the fire could have been devastating if it had set his home and others alight.
“He has zero regard for what that flag stands for,” Tanner said of the man who lit the fire.
John Crutchfield has lived next door to for more than 30 years.
“As far as I’m concerned, this is more than vandalism. This is like terrorism,” he said. “Absolute horror. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for years. I’ve had people trample my bushes. I’ve had people put bottles in my bushes, but that’s typical for a college neighborhood. Nothing like this before.”