A New Jersey man has been accused of violating a town code by flying two Donald Trump flags outside his home, NJ.com reported Friday.
Joseph Hornick, of West Long Branch, New Jersey, told the news site he called police on March 25 to report the latest of five thefts and acts of vandalism to his Trump flags. The police responded by giving him an ticket for allegedly breaking a borough ordinance that bans “public display of political lawn signs more than 30 days before an election,” according to the report. (A flag is covered by that ordinance.)
The New Jersey primary is June 7.
“Here I am looking for the cops to capture these people and instead, here they come and give me a ticket for my freedom of expression,” Hornick told the new site.
WNBC reported that Hornick could face a fine of up to $2,000 or possibly jail time. He told the television station he is prepared to go to jail.
A police report provided to NJ.com further explained how police were alerted to Hornick’s flags. The police report was filed by Hornick’s “distant neighbor,” Brian Hegarty (who is a Democrat), to ask why “his complaints to the municipal code enforcement officers” about the flags had not resulted in any consequences for Hornick.
For his part, Hornick said he has back-up flags and vowed to “buy 1,000 Trump flags” if he must.
“I’m not a football fan. I’m not a sports fan. One thing I have become is a Donald Trump fan,” he told NJ.com. “I feel my constitutional right has been violated. I have the right to express myself.”
Hornick is due in court on April 20.