(Franklin, GA) — A man is in the Heard County jail tonight after vandalizing and burning several flags honoring the U.S. Armed Forces flags in downtown Franklin this morning.
Bruce David Popphand
Bruce David Popphand, age 50, allegedly cut the ropes to the five flags and then set them on fire in broad daylight.
According to a report by Franklin Police Chief Kevin Hannah, he received several calls to report the ongoing vandalism near the town gazebo around 9:22 a.m. Monday morning.
Hannah said witnesses reported Popphand had cut the ropes to the flags before setting them on fire.
Witnesses also stated the man used a small container of gasoline to start the fire and calmly watched the flags burn while smoking a cigarette.
The flags were still on fire when police arrived on the scene, located only about 50 yards from the Franklin Police station.
Authorities aren’t sure why the man vandalized the flags on the city square which hang on poles in honor of each branch of the U.S. Military.
Popphand refused to cooperate with authorities when they attempted to interview him.
Military flags that were burned in downtown Franklin Monday morning
Popphand is charged with three felonies including Criminal Damage to Property (2nd Degree), Arson, and Criminal Interference with Governor Property as well as two misdemeanor charges of Criminal Trespass and Disorderly Conduct
Popphand told authorities he is homeless, although his identification showed his address as Whitlock Drive near the Corinth community.
Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for further information as it becomes available.