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Flag battle turns into theft & property crimes case

A Virginia Beach man holds some very strong beliefs about how the American flag should be treated. While he is not alone in wanting to treat our nation's flag with respect, he may have taking things a bit too far in a recent altercation with a neighbor. When the two did not see eye-to-eye on how the flag should be displayed, the police became involved and the issue became a theft & property crimes case.

The man who took offense concerning the way his neighbor choose to show his patriotism has lived in the neighborhood for 43 years. He also served in the Navy for 23 years. He told reporters that he feels obligated to help ensure that property values stay solid in the neighborhood, and makes every effort to ensure that the rules and regulations are enforced. When his neighbor choose to hang an American flag from his mailbox, the man sent the neighbor a message asking that the flag be illuminated at night, according to tradition.

The neighbor did not set up lighting for the flag and continued to fly it at all hours of the day and night. When the flag was cut down, the neighbor went to speak with the man and asked him not to trespass again. The flag was then cut down again, at which point the neighbor contacted police.

The police arrested the Virginia man, and charged him with trespassing, as well as petty larceny and intentional damage to a monument. He plans to represent himself in court, and there is no word on how he will structure his defense. Should he be convicted of these theft & property crimes, he could face a fine of as much as $2,500 for each offense, as well as time behind bars.

Source: pilotonline.com, "Virginia Beach neighbors headed to court over American flag display", Stacy Parker and Jane Harper, May 11, 2016

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