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Utica man who burned U.S. flags sentenced

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - A Utica man who burned American flags set up for a parade and tried to take an officer's gun in July was sentenced Thursday in Oneida County Court, according to the Oneida County District Attorney's Office.

Mustaf Osman, 26, was convicted in a trial of attempted criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, arson in the fifth degree and resisting arrest. He was sentenced to five years in state prison with three years post-release supervision on the attempted weapon charge. He received one year in Oneida County Jail on each of the remaining charges. All sentences will run concurrently.

In July, Utica police found Osman on Culver Avenue and Armory Drive acting agitated and throwing metal stakes into the roadway. At the time, the officer said Osman burned one of the American flags that were set up along Culver Avenue for the Fourth of July parade.

When the officer started to speak with Osman, police say Osman immediately attacked the officer, grabbing the officer's gun and trying to take it out of its holster. The officer used his taser on Osman to no effect and Osman was taken into custody with the help of civilians.

Police say they discovered that Osman had, in total, burned three to four of the flags that were in the ground across from the armory. Those flags were owned by the ROTC program at Proctor High School.

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