TURLOCK (CBS13) – Neighbors in a Turlock neighborhood are rattled after an American flag was burned outside of a home this week.
“It makes me feel like I got to be kind of cautious especially, you know, since I have three kids of my own,” said Manuel Ventura, who's lived in the area since 2010. “That was really weird to me, especially in this neighborhood.”
According to Turlock police, a flag was burned at home on the 2400 block of Terralinda Drive overnight on Wednesday. Many homes on the street have flags flying proudly near the front door. But one home now has a scorched door where the flag once hung.
Turlock Police described it as a Betsy Ross Flag, one with 13 stripes and 13 stars in a circle, each representing one of the original American colonies.
“It hung down, and it was broken up at the bottom, and it had a circle around it,” said Christine Blair, who lives in the neighborhood.
But Ventura told CBS13 this flag was a bit different than the Betsy Ross Flag. Instead of the circle of stars in the upper left corner, the circle was in the middle.
“I didn’t even pay attention to that, I just thought it was something different hanging on a door,” Blair said.
But Sgt. Russ Holeman with Turlock PD told CBS13 arson is arson, no matter what was on the flag.
“I would hate to try and understand why someone, regardless of what type of flag it was, would believe that it would be okay to damage a flag that they didn’t agree with,” he said.
Neighbors say the young couple who lives in the house just moved in about a month ago, but have been out of town since before the fire. The homeowners told police they don’t believe they have enemies and aren’t sure why their house was targeted.
“I don’t like it; I feel scared, my husband isn’t home during the week,” Blair said.
Police say the last time a flag was burned in the area was back in 2015. And while the motive and suspect are unclear, Ventura says recent controversy circling the American flag and the national anthem has only caused people to be more on edge.
“We’re in 2017; anything can happen now these days,” Ventura said.
Police say the people responsible could face felony arson charges and up to three years behind bars.