CRIME

Virginia man caught on camera burning American flag turns himself in

A man caught on camera burning an American flag on the front porch of a Richmond, Va. home surrendered to police, authorities said Thursday. 

Andrew Rosas, 26, of Richmond, was charged with arson after he turned himself in Wednesday evening. 

Jim Tanner, the owner of the home where the fire was set, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he wanted Rosas "prosecuted to the full extent of the law." 

"If he’s going to burn a flag for no reason at all, who knows what he’s going to do?" Tanner told the paper. 

Tanner found his flag in ashes on his porch after he woke up Wednesday morning. He checked his surveillance camera video and discovered a man had walked up to his house around 2 a.m., tried to untie the flag, and then pulled out a lighter to burn the flag when it wouldn’t come off. 

Tanner told local media outlets the fire could have damanged his home and those of his neighbors if it had spread.

"These houses are 115-120 years old," Tanner told WRIC. "They go up real quick. They’re tinderboxes."

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It was not immediately clear whether Rosas would face additional charges. Burning a flag with malice is a misdemeanor offense in Virginia. 

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It was also not clear what Rosas' motive was for setting the flag alight. 

"I don't think this was about burning an American flag. I think this is about, well, I can't get this unhooked so I'm just going to catch it on fire," Tanner told WTVR.