An Indiana police detective says he had the tables turned on him over the Fourth of July weekend when he became the victim of a crime.
Clark County Sheriff’s Detective Scottie Maples told WDRB News he and his family were celebrating the holiday in their driveway on July 4 when a man approached them and started setting off firecrackers inside water bottles.
“And he had an American flag and he set it on fire in front of me and started waving it and saying, 'this is America it's my freedom to do this,’” Maples said. “So we were like, ‘OK, whatever’ and sent him on his way.”
The detective and relatives snapped some pictures of the man.
After the man left, Maples assumed the minor altercation was over, but he awoke the next morning to find that his house had been vandalized.
Someone had smeared human feces on his welcome mat as well as the windshield of a vehicle parked in his driveway. There was also a hypodermic needle, a small razor blade and a handwritten note on his front porch.
Parts of that note read, “burning the American flag is symbolic free speach (sic)” and “show me your badge wannabe.”
Maples assumes the note, the feces and the syringe were all left behind by the same man who antagonized the family the night before. He said he had told the man he was a police officer.
Maples said he also found another burned flag in his mailbox.
It is unclear exactly how he learned of the vandalism and the note.
WHAS News reports Maples was first notified by the Jeffersonville Police Department when it called to ask him about the incident.
He told WDRB a neighbor saw the man run from his property around 6:30 a.m. after firing a bottle rocket at his house. It is unclear if that neighbor called police or called Maples directly.
The detective said the vandalism put him in a position he wasn’t accustomed to.
“It's a little different I guess being considered a victim of a crime,” he said.
Another police officer’s home in Maples’ neighborhood was also reportedly found to be vandalized the same morning.
Maples said he was mostly concerned about his family, not the vandalism.
“The needle really kind of outraged me,” he told WDRB. “I've got three kids and that's what really made me mad was the needle.”
The suspect has been identified by police, according to WHAS. The Jeffersonville Police Department is expected to issue an arrest warrant on July 6.
Photo Credit: Scottie Maples via WDRB News