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The Villages
Friday, December 2, 2022

Man ‘angry at system’ arrested after twice ripping down Trump flag

Cleve Edmond Hardwick

A man who said he was “angry at the system” was arrested after twice ripping down a Trump flag.

Wildwood police received a complaint that a Trump flag had been torn down on two occasions at Nordic Gun and Pawn, located on Main Street. The store’s owner told police that the flag poles had been broken when the incidents occurred on Thursday and Monday. Surveillance captured images of the incident and a man who tore down the flag, which had been left on the pavement. An American flag had been left in place. The store’s owner said he had prior encounters with the man and he “would recognize him anywhere.”

The suspect was identified as 61-year-old Cleve Edmond Hardwick and spotted by police Tuesday morning on Main Street and Barwick Street. Hardwick said he “ripped down the Trump Flag due to being angry at the system,” the arrest report said. Hardwick also said “he was sorry and asked if he could go to the owners and apologize to them and make an arrangement with them regarding the damage.”

Hardwick was arrested on two counts of criminal mischief and booked on $500 bond at the Sumter County Detention Center.

Hardwick has been arrested in 2016 after hanging around a hair salon in Wildwood. That same year he was arrested for trespassing at Wildwood City Hall.

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