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Man charged with stealing, desecrating American flag

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis man is behind bars for allegedly stealing an American flag and desecrating it.

Jordan Demilt is charged with stealing the American flag from the Southern College of Optometry and desecrating it. His father, Robert Rivers, was shocked to hear about the incident.

"Oh, he's had a previous history on the campus with the same offense?" he asked. "It's very upsetting to me. I don't understand why he would do that. Why he thinks America has done him wrong."

According to the affidavit of complaint, Demilt was spotted June 10 by a security guard carrying an American flag. The guard noticed the flag was missing from one of the poles on the north side of the school's campus in the medical district.

The security guard was able to get the flag back from Demilt but the report says, "the flag had burn marks, holes and a strong odor that was possibly urine."

Demilt has been charged with theft and desecration of a venerated object.

"This is a great country and he's had all opportunity here, but he hasn't taken advantage of it. I don't understand where he's getting this hate from," Rivers said.

He says his son lives on the streets often panhandling and getting into trouble. He's tried over and over to get him the help he needs.

In the meantime, a new flag is flying in front of the school, but what was reportedly done by Demilt is not easily forgotten.

Jordan Demilt remains in jail.

We reached out to the Southern College of Optometry, but they declined to comment on the incident.

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