Hockey fans facing year in jail

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:27 PM ET

Alleged gloating over Canada's gold medal hockey win could land two Canadians living in California up to a year in jail.

The La Quinta police department in southeastern California has filed a complaint with the district attorney seeking state misdemeanour charges against two men after they allegedly replaced an American flag on a mountaintop with a Canadian one the night of Canada's Olympic win over the U.S.

Police allege Ryan Smith, 25, and Matt Siefert, 26, climbed Point Happy and switched the flags after Sidney Crosby scored Canada's winning goal in overtime on Feb. 28. The American flag, which belonged to a private citizen, was on display to honour the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, said Sgt. Rick Waltch in an e-mail.

The investigation found the American flag "damaged," Waltch said.

La Quinta police are seeking to charge both men with vandalism and flag desecration, which, if convicted, carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

The two men reside in California but are Canadian citizens.

The local media have reported the men were watching the game and drinking at a local bar in the resort area popular among Canadian snowbirds.


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