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Man accused of destroying property for burning American flag

He was arrested for destroying another person's property and not for the act of burning the flag, which would be protected under the First Amendment, VPD said.
Credit: Vail Police
Mitchell Hamilton

VAIL, Colo. — A 22-year-old man is accused of destroying another person's property for burning an American flag on Bridge Street in Vail Village. He has been arrested and faces charges of arson and criminal mischief.

Mitchell Hamilton, 22, turned himself into Vail Police (VPD) on Tuesday afternoon. 

Police stressed that Hamilton was not arrested for the act of burning the American flag, but instead for burning and damaging another person’s property. The flag had been hanging outside of a business in the area.

Hamilton, of Eagle, told police he was contacted by friends who said they saw social media posts in relation to his alleged involvement in burning another person’s property, VPD said. 

Earlier this week, VPD released a surveillance photo of a person who they said might have information related to the vandalism.

Hamilton faces charges of second-degree arson and criminal mischief for his involvement in the burning of a U.S. flag in the early morning hours of Nov. 10. 

VPD said the incident created a dangerous situation that could have resulted in additional items catching fire.

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