Patriotism or Tragedy?
Daniel Spisak and family are again the victims of a cruel practical joke

Flag Day of Reckoning

Local Man Distraught after Vandals Make Him Look Like an Ultra-patriot

A SM2000 Special Report

LOS ALAMITOS—To many people, Flag Day is a minor holiday, a time to dust off Old Glory and display it proudly on their houses.

For Daniel Spisak, it’s a day of reckoning.

For two summers in a row, the Spisak family has woken each Flag Day to find their lawn peppered with little plastic flags. This morning was no exception.

Police in park

Los Alamitos police responded quickly and were at the scene of the incident within minutes

The Spisaks were first made aware that something had happened when riot police—sent to keep the throng of onlookers at bay—arrived on the scene.

“Why me?” wails Spisak. “First, that nasty business with those ‘Flasher’ people, now this! I can’t take it, I tell you, I just can’t take it!”

SM2000 has learned that the previous incident was not reported to the police because the Spisaks were unaware that it was a prank.

“To tell you the truth,” Spisak acknowledges sheepishly, “all this time I thought it was something the gardener did for us. I guess you could say I’m a bit slow on the uptake.”

SM2000 had no comment.

We met with FBI criminologist John Grant, who has been following the Spisak case for some time now.

“While it’s possible that there may be a relationship between this prank and the ‘Flash!’ prank of last month, I doubt it. The ‘Flash!’ prank was premeditated; this one looks like a spur-of-the-moment decision.

It certainly seems that way. The flags were readily available, scattered around the suburb by a local real estate agency. The local police department questioned the agency, but quickly came to the conclusion that they, too, were victims in this crime.

“We do it each Flag Day Eve,” said an employee who wished to remain anonymous. “We have a little flyer attached to the flag offering our services to the community. While we’re upset that these pranksters take our flags, at least they leave the flyers behind.”

Boys running in park

During the investigation, SM2000 was attacked by a gang of hoodlums with deadly water balloons

SM2000 decided to follow up on the only lead this case had: the “Flashers.”

Our reception was less than warm: upon arriving, we were set upon by a dozen gang members armed with water balloons. It was only the timely arrival of their leader that saved us from a watery demise.

“Listen, man. We’re pretty P.O.’ed at whoever is doing this, see? Spisak is our turf.”

When asked if perhaps the “Flashers” had changed tactics, the gang leader only snorted derisively.

“Like we’re gonna pull a stunt like that. There’s no style, man. ’Sides, we were out Doin’ the Circle all night. You don’t go collecting flags when you still have a Circle buzz.”

SM2000 had to agree with the FBI: the “Flashers” were obviously not involved.

It was late in the investigation when a new lead came up.

A witness reported seeing Jason Sellers collecting flags, not this year but the previous year.

We were questioning Sellers within the hour. His attitude was less than cooperative.

“OK, sure, I’ve been in trouble in the past. I’ve set fire to my eyebrows and had the Los Al SWAT team here because I was crawling around on my roof with a cap gun. But flags? Seriously, don’t you have anything better to do?”

Photo of semi-dismantled car

Police quickly dismissed Sellers as a suspect when they saw the condition of his vehicle

Something about his blasé attitude suggested he knew more than he was revealing, but our police liaison is quick to dismiss him.

“To pull something like this off he would need transportation, and that’s the one thing Jason never has. Any time he gets a car he tears it apart and takes forever to reassemble it.”

She’s absolutely correct: Sellers has one completely-disassembled vehicle in the garage and another decaying in the driveway.

“I’ll have them done by the end of the year,” Sellers boasts, but we don’t believe a word of it.

The question still remains: why is Spisak a victim?

“Probably because he is such a putz,” is the succinct answer from our guide. “We’ve had numerous reports of him doing bonehead things. Enough blunders like those and he’d make anybody angry.”

Perhaps… perhaps not.

(Followup Story)