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Police charge man in Willmar flag burnings

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WILLMAR — Two charges of fifth-degree arson have been filed against a Willmar man in the burning of two U.S. flags belonging to downtown businesses.

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Jeffrey James Ackerman, 40, used a cigarette lighter to start the flags on fire, Police Chief David Wyffels said.

The incidents happened June 1 at Kitchen Fair and the Midas Auto station. Video used to connect Ackerman to the crimes was recorded just after 1 a.m. that morning, and the incidents were reported after the owners and managers of the businesses discovered the damage.

According to Wyffels, Ackerman told police he “wasn’t against America” but committed the acts because of “anger and emotions.” He lives in the downtown area within a few blocks of the businesses.

Police filed the citations against Ackerman on Friday with Kandiyohi County District Court.

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