Police in a small Ohio town are looking for a suspect, or suspects, responsible for stealing a family’s American flag from their front lawn and burning it.
Matt Duncan, of Niles, Ohio, said he found the damaged flag not far from his house, WKBN reports. It had once been flying in his front yard.
“I noticed that it was charred, had some slices in it, and it was burned,” he told the news station.
He said his family was heartbroken when they realized what had happened and called the vandalism “disgraceful.”
“We bought this flag through a program through the rotary,” he added. “They bring it out for all the major American holidays that we celebrate what the soldiers do for us.”
Duncan said the flag was taken from the pole twice. The second time he filed a police report.
He and his wife, Jamie Duncan, said they suspect it was a group of teenagers.
“Everybody’s kind of disappointed in our kids, or whoever it is, that they would disgrace our flag,” she said. “We feel we’re a good community and we raised our kids better than that.”
The couple’s 8-year-old son, Connor, used to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag every morning from his home’s front window.
“He was very disappointed that somebody wold take it and disgrace it by burning it,” Connor’s mom told WKBN.
Police are still searching for suspects.
Similar incidents have occurred in the past.
In August 2014, police in Weatherford, Texas, were searching for suspects — believed by many to be teens — responsible for burning flags after stealing them from six area homes, KDFW News reported at the time.
And in January of this year, someone had set fire to an Oregon preschool’s flag and left it flying at half staff, according to KVAL News.
It is unclear if arrests were ever made in either of those cases.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia, WKBN News