Police believe a Fort Worth firefighter seen on camera ripping down U.S. flags in Denton was intoxicated.
Court documents state that Michael James Wagemann had been at a restaurant on the square in downtown Denton the night of Sept. 9. A server at the restaurant told investigators she later saw him at the East Side Denton bar around the corner and he appeared drunk and agitated.
"When I watched the video see him stumble a little bit, my opinion he had been drinking or looked like he was angry at something or somebody making him rip down the flags of the United States,” said Capt. Orlando Hinojosa, Denton County Sheriff.
Investigators were shocked when they discovered last week the man tearing down two flags on the square was a Fort Worth firefighter.
"When we found out it was a firefighter, that hit home, because he's a public servant,” Hinojosa said. “You're there to protect people of the United States essentially."
The Fort Worth Fire Department says Wagemann is a 7-year firefighter assigned to Station 35 at Alliance Airport, but is currently on restricted duty.
"This not something we can condone,” said Fort Worth Fire spokesman Kyle Clay. “We have to remain impartial conducting an investigation, so we can’t let our judgement or opinions take hold on this.”
Sheriff's investigators said Wagemann had told them he would turn himself in last Friday and didn't -- his attorney posted the bond for him. No one came to the door at Wagemann's house on Monday, but there was a U.S. flag waving out front.
The investigators involved just want to understand why this all happened.
"There's a lot of people that want to know why, hope he steps up to the plate, be a man and tell them,” Hinojosa said.