U.S. Flags Torched in OC Vandalism Spree

Apparently there's some confusion about the First Amendment in Laguna Niguel.

Flag burning is absolutely legal -- but here's the catch -- you have to own the flag you're burning. It's a small distinction, but apparently that wasn't clear Thursday night.

Four residents of a Laguna Niguel street woke up Friday morning to find that the American flags they had hung outside their homes had been burned, said a sheriff's official. Three flags were completely destroyed and one was partially damaged, said Orange County sheriff's Lt. Ted Boyne

The vandalism occurred overnight in the 28800 block of Placida Ave. There was no sign of an accelerant and the fires were being investigated as acts of vandalism, Boyne said.

Sheriff's Sgt. Sherrie Thompson said the call came in initially as a single complaint.

"And as the deputy was taking the report, more residents came forward and said that their flag was also burnt off their pole, off their house," Thompson said. "And then when my deputies got there they patrol checked the area and found three more flags ..."

Neighbors said they suspected the damage was caused by kids in the neighborhood.

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