A 29-year-old man has been arrested after a truck with two American flags and a Trump “Keep America Great” sticker was torched in a California high school parking lot.
Police say Benjamin Bauch burned the flags, which were positioned inches away from a Trump bumper sticker while it was parked at El Toro High School in Lake Forest on Thursday.
The truck, which belongs to a student, was burned sometime that morning. Police were able to apprehend the suspect after a surveillance video captured his license plate, according to The Press-Enterprise.
“I’m in a parking lot with a couple thousand other kids and possibly blowing up cars around me and you know, hurting someone, killing someone,” pickup owner Niko Cladopulos told CBS 2.
“What has to go through your mind to do that?” he wondered.
The Orange County sheriff said the man was pulled over and “admitted to the arson and was taken into custody.”
#OCSDPIO: Today at approx 11:45 am, deputies and the @OCFA_PIO were dispatched to El Toro High School in Lake Forest regarding a fire in the bed of a truck in the parking lot. When deputies & OCFA arrived, witnesses told them a man stopped near a student’s car and set fire (1/3) pic.twitter.com/QMIklc537I
— OC Sheriff, CA (@OCSheriff) February 6, 2020
Additional photos posted by the sheriff’s department shows the damage to the vehicle and property.
The suspects mother told CBS 2 that her son is not necessarily anti-Trump but not necessarily a Trump supporter. She said her son, who is an “Eagle Scout,” has been “increasingly frustrated” because he can’t find a job.
Bauch has been charged with two felony counts and one misdemeanor count of arson.