Two fifth-degree arson charges were filed Friday against a Willmar man for burning two U.S. flags belonging to downtown Willmar businesses.
According to Police Chief David Wyffels, 40-year-old Jeffrey James Ackerman used a cigarette lighter to start the flags on fire. The West Central Tribune reports the two incidents happened June 1 at Kitchen Fair, along the 300 block of Fifth Street Southwest, and at the Midas Auto station, along the 700 block of Litchfield Avenue Southwest.
The video footage used to connect Ackerman to the crimes was recorded just after 1 a.m. that morning and the incidents were reported as the owners and managers of the businesses discovered the damage later that morning.
According to Wyffels, Ackerman told the police he “wasn’t against America” but committed the acts because of “anger and emotions.” He lives in the downtown area and within a few blocks of where the crimes occurred.
The police department filed the citations against Ackerman late Friday afternoon with the Kandiyohi County District Court. His first court appearance will be determined by the court system.