A former Marine and Vietnam veteran was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct on June 13, after he threw a cup of coffee at two Westboro Baptist Church members (video below).
Richard Pierce, 64, attended a counter protest in Wilmington, Delaware, where members of the conservative Westboro Baptist Church were picketing the funeral of Vice President Joe Biden’s son, former Attorney General Beau Biden.
According to Delaware Online, Pierce said he was not looking for any trouble and just went to make sure there were no problems.
“I went there to mind my own business,” Pierce told the News Journal. “It was not my intention to cause a problem.”
Pierce says he “snapped” when he saw a Westboro Baptist Church protester disrespecting the American flag, reported TheBlaze. The female protestor was reportedly walking across the highway, dragging the flag under her feet when Pierce said he lost his temper.
“The only way that I could demonstrate that is spill my coffee on them,” he explained.
Three members of the Topeka, Kansas, church, which is known for picketing soldiers’ funerals and harsh anti-homosexual beliefs, showed up to protest Beau Biden's funeral on June 13. They were greatly outnumbered by the counter protest, which included about 300 people, including Pierce.
Although the picket by the small group ended peacefully after the presidential motorcade passed by en route to Biden’s funeral, reports USA Today, Pierce approached the Westboro members after they were escorted to their car and threw his cup of McDonald’s coffee at them. Two of the women were apparently hit with the coffee. Pierce was then arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
“It’s very meaningful to me, as a Marine, as it is to all Marines,” Pierce said in an interview with the News Journal. “So many people have died in defense of that flag.”
The hearing for the misdemeanor is scheduled for July 20.
“I don’t care who you are, you are not going to disrespect the flag. And if I have to go to jail to defend our flag, I’m going to do it, and I take that very strongly” Pierce said.
Photo Credit: Screenshot via USA Today