Three Yale University students have been arrested on charges of setting fire to an American flag hanging from the porch of a private home.
The three were arrested early yesterday after police on patrol spotted the burning flag and tore it from pole where it was mounted to the house on Chapel Street, police said.
Said Hyder Akbar, 23, Nikolaos Angelopoulos, 19, and Farhad Anklesaria, also 19, were arrested on charges ranging from reckless endangerment to arson.
â€œThough the U.S. Supreme Court has invalidated flag-desecration statutes in 1989 and 1990 on First Amendment grounds, that does not mean that individuals can burn flags and face no criminal charges,” said First Amendment scholar David Hudson of the First Amendment Center.
“There are generally applicable criminal laws, such as laws against vandalism, for which there is no free-speech defense,” Hudson said. “Justice Scalia alluded to this fact in his opinion in R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul (1992) â€” a case involving a juvenile who burned a cross in a neighborâ€™s yard â€” when he said the city of St. Paul had â€˜sufficient means at its disposal to prevent such behavior without adding the First Amendment to the fire.â€™ Presumably, the authorities in this (New Haven) case have â€˜sufficient meansâ€™ to prohibit such threatening conduct.â€
Angelopoulos and Anklesaria, who are freshmen, are both foreign citizens. Anklesaria is British and Angelopoulos is Greek.
Akbar, a senior, was born in Pakistan, according to police, but is a U.S. citizen. Both Anklesaria and Angelopoulos had to hand over their passports
Akbar, a senior, was born in Pakistan but is a U.S. citizen, police said. He worked as an informal translator for U.S. forces during the invasion of Afghanistan and later published a memoir, ”Come Back to Afghanistan,” based on his experiences, the Yale Daily News reported Wednesday.
At the arraignment in Superior Court a few hours after the arrests, bond was kept at $25,000 for Angelopoulos and Akbar, but was reduced to $15,000 for Anklesaria. They remained jailed last night.
Police said the students had two encounters with officers. Officers Stephanija Van Wilgen and Diane Gonzalez were responding to an unrelated call Haven at about 3 a.m. and were flagged down by the students who asked for directions. A short time later, the two officers returned to Chapel Street to see if the students had found their way home and spotted the burning flag.
“There was a glow in front of the house which they identified as a flag mounted on a pole to the house and it was engulfed in flames,” police spokeswoman Bonnie Posick said.
Van Wilgen pulled down the burning flag to prevent the fire from spreading to the house and Gonzalez tracked down the three men.
A century ago, people, like both my grandfathers, came to this country from Europe to take humble jobs performing hard labor in the coal mines where fatal accidents were common and where the occupational disease of anthrasilicosis shortened every miner’s life, and they were still grateful all their lives that America had taken them in and provided as much opportunity as that.
Today, Ivy League Universities give scholarships to hairy primitives from exotic strongholds of barbarism hostile to our country and our civilization, who are so grateful for being here that they set American flags on fire.
They should revoke that one ungrateful wretch’s citizenship, and deport all three of them so fast their heads spin.
On second thought:
Upon reflection, it occurred to me that they are all very young, after all. And there is the significant difference that my Lithuanian grandfathers settled in America in respectable communities possessed of decent values, where patriotism, gratitude, courtesy, and common sense were valued and part of expected conduct.
These little wetback arsonists get their values and attitudes from centers of contemporary anti-American elitism, like California’s East Bay and Yale University. Is it any wonder they have no sense of gratitude or appreciation toward the United States? They are obviously loyal enough to the treasonous community of fashion they currently inhabit.
Rather than deport the kids, we should probably be deporting the President of Yale and its administration and faculty.
Three Yale students, including the son of a former governor of an Afghan province, were arrested early Tuesday morning after burning an American flag attached to a home on Chapel Street.
Hyder Akbar â€™07, Nikolaos Angelopoulos â€™10 and Farhad Anklesaria â€™10 were arrested for charges including first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree criminal mischief, second-degree arson, breach of peace and conspiracy to commit second-degree arson, the New Haven Register reports today. The two freshmen are both foreign citizens, and Akbar is a United States citizen, though he was born in Pakistan. Akbar worked as an informal translator for U.S. forces during the invasion of Afghanistan and later published a memoir, â€œCome Back to Afghanistan,â€ based on his experiences there.
According to the police report, as reported in the Register, the students were arrested after police found the burning flag, which had hung off 512 Chapel St. The arresting officers had previously assisted the students by giving them directions back to campus from Chapel Street in Fair Haven and later found the students a few blocks away from the burning flag. The three students admitted to police that they lit the fire, according to the report. The New Haven Police Department was not available for comment Tuesday evening.
The students were set to spend Tuesday night in jail after a Superior Court judge refused to release the men without bail, the Register reports. The bail for Akbar and Angelopoulos was set at $25,000 and was $15,000 for Anklesaria.
Kylie Ann Lathrop Moore
Why did the three people burn the flag?Did it belong to them?Are they still in jail?Was the flag replaced?
Crystal M. Cullen
Was anybody injured while the flag was on fire?Wasthe house one of the teenager’s?
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