April 20th, 2010
11:16 AM ET

Cops: Canadian hockey fans desecrated U.S. flag after win

The Canadian national hockey team defeated the U.S. team in the Olympics in overtime.

A celebration of Canada’s gold medal hockey victory over the United States in February may have two Canadian residents of California facing criminal charges of vandalism and flag desecration.

The La Quinta, California, Police Department said Monday it has asked the Riverside County district attorney to file misdemeanor charges against Ryan Smith, 25, of Bermuda Dunes, and Matt Seifert, 26, of Palm Desert.

After the Canadian national team defeated the U.S. 3-2 in overtime in the gold medal game in Vancouver on February 28, police say Smith and Seifert went to the top of desert mountain, removed an American flag that had been placed there to honor the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks and replaced it with a Canadian flag.

Robert C. Sterling Jr., whose mother erected the flag after 9/11, told The Desert Sun newspaper he found a torn U.S. flag buried under rocks at the site.

According to The Desert Sun report, a Riverside County sheriff’s detective who led the investigation said last month that the Canadian men were remorseful when told of the reason the U.S. flag was erected at the site.

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Filed under: Canada • Sports • U.S. • World
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