VIDEO: Man Arrested After Burning American Flag Outside Walmart On 4th Of July

Mitchell Lee Stauffer doused the flag in gasoline, then set it ablaze, video footage showed.

Tabb, VA – York-Poquoson sheriff’s deputies have arrested a man who set an American flag ablaze outside a Walmart store on Independence Day (video below).

The incident occurred in the parking lot of the store at approximately 9:13 a.m., the Daily Press reported.

Cell phone footage recorded by a Walmart employee showed the suspect, later identified as 23-year-old Mitchell Lee Stauffer, as he rummaged through the trunk of his car while parked in the driving lane in front of the store.

Prior to the start of the video, Stauffer had already thrown an American flag onto the pavement and doused it with gasoline, the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office (YPSO) explained in a Facebook post.

One of the bystanders told someone off-camera to call 911, just as Stauffer bent down and lit the flag on fire, the video showed.

The flag immediately burst into flames, at which point Stauffer yelled about not giving “a s--t if you die.”

He slammed his trunk closed and left the scene, leaving the burning American flag on the ground behind him.

Bystanders noted the license plate on the suspect’s vehicle, and he was later arrested for burning an object in a public place with the intent to intimidate, the YPSO said.

“The burning of our great American Flag is very offensive to most people including me,” York-Poquoson Sheriff J.D. “Danny” Diggs said in the post. “That being said, the courts have ruled that act alone is an expression of free speech and not per se illegal.”

Stauffer was not arrested for “his First Amendment Right to burn the flag,” but because he did so in a public place with the intent of intimidating others.

He faces one to five years in prison if he is convicted, the Daily Press reported.

“This charge is appropriate under the Code of Virginia,” Sheriff Diggs said in the post. “It is fortunate that no one was injured today.”

You can watch footage of the incident in the video below:

Comments (68)
No. 1-18
webleedblue
webleedblue

Little prick should have had his ass kicked.

dbosse
dbosse

I hope he goes to jail. Could have caught his car on fire and explosion could have killed people, but as he said "I don't give a s--t if you die" to bystanders.

LynnSB
LynnSB

Rotten Little Bastard -- He would have NEVER left the Seen if I were there ~~ Needs a GOOD ASS BEATING !!

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

I believe they call this arson....jail time. What an idiot

BerettaAPX
BerettaAPX

Democrat

RR1
RR1

What a douche, I'm sure they can bring him up on several charges as it was on private property that he did this. That video should clinch it.

bluelivesmatter53
bluelivesmatter53

Doesn't bother me like everyone thinks it should. My first question, is the burner of the flag ALSO the owner of the flag? If the answer is yes then I have little problem with a property owner destroying their own property...

Ace17
Ace17

Great job Holly!

TazErases
TazErases

Wouldn't he also be charged with ARSON? He was burning it in a public place where other people and or property could have been in danger.

Old Hawg
Old Hawg

Yup, here it is. Johnson v. Texas does not apply.

§ 18.2-423.01. Burning object on property of another or a highway or other public place with intent to intimidate; penalty. A. Any person who, with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons, burns an object on the private property of another without permission, is guilty of a Class 6 felony. B. Any person who, with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons, burns an object on a highway or other public place in a manner having a direct tendency to place another person in reasonable fear or apprehension of death or bodily injury is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

How were the onlookers intimidated? Intimidation involves making people fearful with the intent that they do something or refrain from doing something. That doesn't apply here.

OldVet
OldVet

Too bad his clothing didn't catch also.

vwiles34
vwiles34

They need to light his ass up. But it does make me wonder. I can remember a time when if someone did this the police would have gotten there to find this little prick beat all to hell. Because if men saw this happen they would jump to action. Now they take their phone out and film it. And its the same if they see some poor old lady being beaten and robbed by a couple of unarmed punks. You have a whole crowd watching with a few filming. But though they clearly have the punks outnumbered " They don't want to get involved".

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

Someone needs to throw a sheet over him, throw in the back of a pickup and give him a good beating!!!

Lakota Rains
Lakota Rains

I don't think his ignorance has anything to do with Dems or Republican...he;s just an ass that should be sent to where ever it is he belongs, just NOT here in America.

Texas-Bubba
Texas-Bubba

I hope he gets his sorry ass whopped in jail

Yahderhey
Yahderhey

Mom is going to be pissed when she sees her car on tv. Best report it stolen and get back to basement before she gets home from work.