Stolen Donald Trump flag returned … with anonymous letter
WEST LONG BRANCH— A borough man whose Donald Trump flag was stolen off his front porch in June says the matter has come to a close — the flag was returned, with an anonymous letter.
Joseph Hornick, a former firefighter, said when he went to retrieve his mail on Tuesday, he noticed the Trump flag was back on his property. Detective Lauren Osborne said an anonymous letter also accompanied the flag.
"Without going into any detail, all is forgiven in this matter," Hornick said in a Facebook post. "I'm satisfied all is genuine & heartfelt. Apology is certainly accepted."
On July 7, Hornick signed a waver of prosecution to end all action from the police department into the investigation. Hornick said that at the end of the day, "Making America Great Again" — the Trump campaign slogan — is his priority.
This was the 11th Trump flag stolen from his property he said. He captured the thief on a hidden surveillance camera, and police then asked the public for help in identifying the woman.
The person who stole the flag was never found or identified, Osborne said.
In March, the borough ticketed Hornick for violating an ordinance that prohibits residents from displaying campaign signage less than 30 days before an election. The New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union backed Hornick in court, saying the ordinance is unconstitutional.
"Political signs are a form of political speech and residents are allowed to engage in that all year long," said Jeanne LoCicero, deputy legal director of New Jersey ACLU.
Eric Sherman, Hornick's attorney, argued the ordinance was vague regarding flags.
At Hornick's April 20 Municipal Court hearing, he could have faced 90 days in jail and between $100 and $2,000 in fines, but Judge Louis Garippo Jr. dismissed the case “in the interest of justice.”
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