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American Flag Burning
updated: Dec 11, 2012, 5:52 PM

Source: Santa Barbara Police Department

Gary Evan Matthew Working, age 25, of Santa Barbara was arrested for arson after setting fire to the United States flag at the Bankruptcy Court.

On December 10, 2012 at 6:27 p.m., officers from the Santa Barbara Police Department responded to a call of a subject attempting to steal the United States flag that was flying at the US Bankruptcy Court at 1415 State Street. Prior to their arrival the reporting party advised that the subject was setting the flag on fire. Upon arrival the officers took the suspect, Working, into custody and extinguished the fire with a fire extinguisher from one of the police vehicles. The reporting party and another witness were contacted at the scene.

Investigation indicates that at the time of the incident Working severed the rope adjacent to the flagpole used to raise the flag by burning it with a lighter. Once the rope was severed Working lowered the flag and walked with it westbound, dragging the flag on the ground. He then stopped in the parking lot of the courthouse and set the flag on fire. One of the witnesses told him that she was calling the police at which time Working replied, "I'm not hurting anybody, go ahead." Working also uttered to the witnesses that he "was in the war," that he had nothing, and that he was now homeless. Working informed the investigating officer that he burned the flag because he was upset at the "Oval Office" and its lack of action in helping people.

Working was booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail for arson with a bail amount of $50,000.00. Photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

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Man stealing flags at Bankruptcy court now attempting to light the flags on fire..1400 Block of State street.. (12/11/12)
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