A man was arrested in Manhattan this weekend for stealing a flag off of a notorious pro-Trump vehicle that has been traveling around the country ever since Trump was elected.
Police tell Gothamist the incident happened around 6:35 p.m. on Sunday at 14th Street and Eighth Avenue. Jared Handler, 37, was arrested for grabbing and damaging the flag off of Rob Cortis’s vehicle, which cops referred to as a "pro-Trump advertisement trailer."
You can see people gathering around the vehicle and shouting, cursing and taking photos in the video below.
Handler was charged with petit larceny, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief and criminal possession of stolen property for taking the flag. He was also given a violation for unlawful possession of marijuana.
Cortis, a Michigan resident, previously came to the city with his vehicle, which he dubbed the Trump Unity Bridge, back in January 2017. He's been traveling around the country with it ever since, occasionally updating the slogans on the side—it used to read "Make America Great Again," now it says, "Build The Wall." Cortis brought the vehicle to a vigil for the New Zealand Christchurch shooting victims last week in Cleveland: "Mourners looked on in disbelief as the float rolled past the memorial blaring music. The driver, Robert Cortis of Michigan, then made a second pass and played 'God Bless America.'"
"We are stopping in both large cities and small towns across the country delivering a message of Unity while discussing the importance of securing America’s southern border," Cortis wrote on his website about his current "Building the Wall Tour." He's faced some problems on that tour: in December, the Trump Unity Bridge tow vehicle, aka the "Trump Mobile," blew out its engine. Cortis tried to raise $20,000 to replace it on GoFundMe; in three months, he's raised $317.
But clearly that didn't stop him from getting to NYC. As for this latest incident, he told the NY Post, he would do what he could to help police prosecute Handler. "He’s stealing a flag and destroying it," Cortis said. "Why would he want to be in our country if he’s stealing a flag and destroying it?"