FISHERS, Ind. – Police have arrested two Fishers men for allegedly setting an American flag on fire over the Fourth of July.
Christopher Graham, 18, and George Drake, 18, were arrested Friday around 2 p.m. in the area of 116th Street and Lantern Road.
Police say the two men were taken to the Hamilton County Jail and face felony charges of arson and criminal mischief.
The vandalism took place at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater right behind Fishers City Hall.
According to police, the flag was intentionally set ablaze while hanging in the amphitheater around midnight.
The crime is offensive to many, especially those who served in our armed forces.
“It’s shameful and tragic someone in our community would disrespect our flag that way,” said Frank Wilcox.
Frank Wilcox is an Army veteran whose father, son and numerous other family members have served in the military. He says someone burning Old Glory is incredibly disrespectful.
“It’s just stupid and whoever did it couldn’t possibly know what they were doing and who they were doing it too. It’s personal to us,” said Wilcox.
A viewer photo taken a few days ago during Spark Fishers shows the flag before it was burnt and a picture shared by the mayor shows what it looked like after the fire went out but before the flag was taken down.
“It’s sad and it’s stupid and I hope the person who did it is found and given the opportunity to apologize,” said Wilcox before the arrests were made.
The flames also did some damage to the amphitheater. Frank hopes whoever started the fire is taught a lesson in American civics.
“The red white and blue is sacred because of the blood that made it sacred,” said Wilcox. “It’s a symbol of freedom in America. A lot of people fought and died for the flag.”
In addition to the flag, two other small fires were intentionally set in the area last night, police say.
Around 12 a.m. on Friday, smoke alarms were triggered after a piece of paper was set on fire in an elevator at the Edge Parking Garage, and multiple small fires were set in the Sunblest Apartment Complex in the early morning hours.
According to police, all the fires burned themselves out and caused minor damage.
Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness tweeted about the incident Friday morning, saying:
“It’s unfortunate that someone or a few people thought this was a good way to celebrate the 4th."
Anyone with additional information about these fires should contact the Fishers Police Department.
It’s unfortunate that someone or a few people thought this was a good way to celebrate the 4th. Our police and fire dept. will celebrate the 5th by trying to find them. pic.twitter.com/7932xOqVOB
— Scott Fadness (@ScottFadness) July 5, 2019