Plant City Man Arrested after Taking Confederate Flag, Then Trying to Burn It
A simultaneous demonstration in Riverview ended with no arrests. Both were generally peaceful events, Hillsborough deputies say.
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – Two protests held in Riverview and Plant City on Tuesday (June 2) ended with the arrest of one man who tried to burn a Confederate flag he had taken from a vehicle, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Vintwan Ledario Brooks, 29, of Plant City, was charged with one count each of Resisting an Officer without Violence and Rioting/Inciting to Riot.
Deputies said Brooks removed a confederate flag from the vehicle of someone who came out to the demonstration. Brooks attempted to burn the flag, which led to a confrontation between the two individuals. Plant City police tried to intervene during the dispute. While handcuffing Brooks, a Plant City officer was pepper sprayed by another protester, who fled the scene.
Brooks was one of several hundred protesters demonstrating at the Race Trac gas station, 1722 James L Redman Parkway in Plant City. Protesters marched between 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. from the Race Trac to the Plant City Police Department. Deputies fired a “less lethal round” at one person seen throwing bottles at HCSO deputies and Plant City Police officers. That person fled the scene.
During the same time frame on Tuesday, protesters were also gathered at the intersection of U.S. 301 and Big Bend Road in Riverview. Beginning about 5 p.m., a crowd of about 600 people gathered on the sidewalk near the Bank of America, 13180 U.S. 301 N, later spilling into the roadway. About 5:45 p.m., the intersection was shut down to traffic for the safety of protesters and motorists.
After being told to clear the roadway, protesters dispersed at 10:45 p.m. without incident, and no arrests were made.
“I commend both my deputies and officers with the Plant City Police Department for their restraint in dealing with agitators and their willingness to show the citizens we serve that we are listening to their concerns and will always be there to protect them,” Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “I am happy to say that these protests ended with no injuries and no damage to property in either Plant City or Riverview.”
MAIN PHOTO SHOWS HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY SHERIFF CHAD CHRONISTER TALKING WITH A PROTESTER DURING A DEMONSTRATION TUESDAY (JUNE 2) IN PLANT CITY. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE. PHOTO OF VINTWAN LEDARIO BROOKS COURTESY OF THE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY JAIL.
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