September 9, 2013

Deputies: Peru man burns neighbor's U.S. flag

Suspect faces charge of flag desecration, theft.

By Carson Gerber For the Pharos-Tribune

---- — PERU — A 21-year-old Peru man faces charges of desecrating an American flag after deputies say he cut his neighbor’s flag down from a poll and burned it in his backyard.

Deputies arrested Brett M. Bishop, 3200 block of North 190 West, after police say he admitted to getting drunk and entering his neighbor’s property with a BB gun to retrieve his dog on Aug. 5.

According to court documents, Bishop told police he recalled that once he was on the property, he entered his neighbor’s garage and stole an undetermined quantity of frozen pork from a freezer. He also said he slashed the tires on one of his neighbor’s vehicles.

Bishop said he remembered cutting down part of the flag, but said he didn’t remember burning it. He said he remembered burning his hand when he was trying to light something with a cigarette lighter, but couldn’t remember what he burned.

Deputies said part of the flag was still attached to the pole, but the majority of it was missing. Deputies reported locating the burned remains of the flag in Bishop’s backyard.

Deputies also said the neighbor’s garden hose and clothes line had been cut, and the barbecue grill was turned on and left open.

During an interview with deputies, Bishop expressed concern about his actions and use of alcohol. He said he was doing well in nursing school and was up for a promotion at his job.

Deputies arrested Bishop Saturday on a warrant for burglary, theft, criminal mischief and flag desecration.

Indiana law makes it a Class A misdemeanor to intentionally mutilate, deface, burn or trample any U.S. flag, standard or ensign.

Bishop was released Saturday from the Miami County jail on a $36,000 bond.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or at