CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CBS Charlotte) – Four Charlotte area protesters, including one teenage boy, allegedly set fire to an American flag in protest near the Occupy Charlotte encampment early Friday.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police arrested Jason Bargert, 28, Michael Alan Behrle, 23, Stephen Christopher Morris, 20, and Alex Macon Tyler, 19, for setting an American flag ablaze directly in front of the Occupy camp. Police told WBTV that even though the flag burning happened near Occupy Charlotte’s encampment, they still aren’t certain as to whether the four men are associated with the movement.
Around 12:30 a.m. Friday, police noticed that something was on fire in the area of the Occupy encampment. After police detained the four men and put out the fire, they realized that what was burning was the American flag, according to WBTV.
The protesters, who called the police “fascists” as they were being detained, claimed they were burning the flag in protest. Details remain hazy as to what they were protesting.
The four protesters were charged with being careless with fire, a misdemeanor offense prompted by the four men burning the flag outside of a fire pit and within 10 feet from flammable tents.
Messages left by CBS Charlotte to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and Occupy Charlotte were not immediately returned.