SAFD: Camera captured man set American flag outside home on fire, watch flames spread

David Martinez, 30, charged with arson, records show

David Martinez, 30, was arrested Tuesday and charged with arson, a first-degree felony, records with the Bexar County Jail show.
David Martinez, 30, was arrested Tuesday and charged with arson, a first-degree felony, records with the Bexar County Jail show. (Bexar County Jail)

SAN ANTONIO – Authorities arrested a man who was caught on camera setting an American flag on fire and watching it burn, according to the San Antonio Fire Department.

David Martinez, 30, was arrested Tuesday and charged with arson, a first-degree felony, records with the Bexar County Jail show.

An arson investigator was called to the home after the flag was set on fire and flames were extinguished. The investigator said the flag was attached to a pole that was mounted to a wooden pillar on the porch.

The investigator reviewed surveillance footage that captured a man walk from a neighbor’s house, pause in front of the home as he smoked what appeared to be a cigarette, approach the home and set the flag on fire, an arrest warrant affidavit states.

The person then watched “for a moment” as the flames grew, the affidavit states. The man walked away as the fire destroyed the flag and damaged the pole. Flames did not spread to the home.

The homeowners and the neighbor were able to identify the man as Martinez, the affidavit states.

Records show his bond was set at $60,000.

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Rebecca Salinas has worked as a digital journalist in San Antonio for six years. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.