An Austin man was arrested during the Republican presidential debate on Thursday after setting fire to an apartment rug in an apparent political statement meant to prove he’s not a “loser.”
Scout Anthony Thomas Hodge, 20, faces a State Jail Felony for using a lighter to ignite a hat bearing a slogan about Syria on it, which he set on the rug of his mother’s apartment. Fire officials later found the smoldering remains outside the apartment, and noted that about $100 in damage had been done to the rug.
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Hodge reportedly said that he burned the hat and set it on his mother’s carpet to make a political statement, and because Hodge wanted to prove he’s not a “loser.” An arrest report also claims Hodge recorded the incident and published the video on Instagram, but the video appeared to have been taken down by Monday morning.
The report of a domestic disturbance came in from the Whisper Hollow Apartments in south-east Austin, according to CBS News affiliate KEYE-TV. When police arrived on the scene, they forcibly entered the apartment after hearing Hodge’s mother exclaim that she could not get free to answer the door.
Once in custody, the man admitted his actions and told police he was afraid of being remitted to psychiatric care if police were allowed to enter, so he restrained his mother. He also allegedly told officers that the dispute started after he became agitated by a political program that his mother was watching on television that evening.
The Republican presidential debate was also held Thursday night.
Hodge faces one charge of arson, a state jail felony, and one charge of unlawful restraint.