Man surrenders in flag-burning incident in Richmond’s Fan District

Andrew Rosas. Credit: Richmond Police Department

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — The man suspected of burning an American flag that was attached to a home in Richmond Wednesday surrendered, according to Richmond Police.

Andrew Rosas, 26, of the 1100 block of Catherine Street in Richmond, previously from Colonial Heights, surrendered at RPD headquarters without incident at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

The incident occurred shortly after 2 a.m. on a porch at Floyd and Lombardy in Richmond’s Fan District. The video was posted on Facebook by the homeowner’s neighbor, which has already been shared hundreds of times on the social network.

Andrew Rosas. Credit: Richmond Police Department

In the video, a man appears to initially attempt to untie the flag but once unsuccessful, lights the flag and quickly walks away.

The owner of the home, Jim Tanner, tells 8News he was asleep when the incident occurred. He cringes at the thought of what could have happened.

“He endangered my property, myself, my neighbors,” Tanner said. “These houses are 115-120 years old. They go up real quick. They’re tinderboxes.”

The entire front porch of his home is wood and the arson could have been devastating if it had caught his home and others on fire.

“I want him caught because he doesn’t realize the danger he put people in,” Tanner said. “He has zero regard for what that flag stands for.”

John Crutchfield has lived next door to for more than 30 years.

“As far as I’m concerned, this is more than vandalism. This is like terrorism,” he said. “Absolute horror. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for years. I’ve had people trample my bushes. I’ve had people put bottles in my bushes, but that’s typical for a college neighborhood. Nothing like this before.”