Police have arrested a man for setting fire to an American flag outside a Midtown Manhattan Irish pub over the July 4th holidays. The flag had been raised to honor America after the Irish owner of the bar Pete Doherty obtained American citizenship.
Police say the man visible in the CCTV footage from outside the Playwright pub is Jeffrey Schorfheide (26), who has been arrested.
Schorfheide allegedly spent 18 minutes attempting to light the flameproof flag with a cigarette lighter, outside the Midtown bar.
The New York Daily News reports that Schorfheide told the police “After a number of unsuccessful attempts, it finally went up and the awning began to catch on fire.”
The owner John Doherty was displaying the flag to mark the Independence Day holiday and the fact that he had just earned his American citizenship.
The Playwright’s manager, Kimberly Kolbert, told NY1 News, “The guy literally watched the awning go on fire.
“He steps back, he takes a cigarette, he watches it. He takes pictures of it with his phone and then walks away.”
Although the arsonist caused $3,000 worth of damage to the front of the bar no one was hurt. Staff were inside the bar when the flag caught fire.
Schorfheide faces felony charges of reckless endangerment as a hate crime, criminal mischief and arson.
He was arraigned on Tuesday night at that Manhattan Criminal Court and released on $3,000 bail.