Annandale woman arrested and charged for 'destroying’ and 'mutilating' US flags in several neighborhoods

Fairfax County Police have charged a 39-year-old woman after they said she destroyed, cut and ripped U.S. American flags and some welcome signs in several neighborhoods in Annandale and Falls Church.

Police say Maria Arif, of Annandale, was on foot when she appeared on the front yard of a person’s home and cut up or mutilated the flags.

“One thing I was thinking is that my husband and I camped out the other night and we are thinking, ‘This lady came up and we were sleeping outside and having a nice time in our yard’ so it makes you feel a little unsafe,” said Cherie Sullivan, who had two of her small American flags and a welcome sign ripped. “I don’t know what happened that would cause someone to physically cut up a flag for no reason at all. Maybe she has something against people hopefully she doesn’t and that she gets some help and recover from whatever was happening.”

Maria Arif

Maria Arif (Fairfax County Police Department)

Arif was charged with larceny, two counts of destruction of property and two counts of mutilating a U.S. flag.

She was taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where she posted bond.

Police said the investigation is ongoing because they believe there are additional victims. 

If you believe you were a victim, contact non-emergency at 703-691-2131 to file a report.