A Russia-born Florida man was arrested after reportedly threatening to stab as many elementary school children as possible in response to their patriotism and pride in America.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Andrew Ivan Aman was arrested before any children were harmed in Tampa, Florida. Aman purportedly responded violently after a sign at Francis Bellamy Elementary was painted red, white, and blue in an American flag motif for back to school.
Aman supposedly put a knife in a handbag with the intention to "stab as many children as possible" because of their "obnoxious pride in America." However, he was taken into custody before carrying out his alleged plan when his roommate tipped off local police.
The Washington Examiner shared that Aman, 22, "hated America," according to a document released by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department.
"If adults get in the way, he planned to stab them as well."Aman was taken into custody under the Baker Act, (also called the Florida Mental Health Act), which allows for "involuntary mental evaluations of persons considered to be a threat to themselves or others."
The sheriff's office confirmed that Aman was in custody and there was no further danger or safety threat to the students or staff of Bellamy Elementary School.The Daily Mail says that Aman, who was born in Abakanets, Russia, has a history of mental health issues and explained that he was purportedly targeting the school because of their patriotic color scheme, referring to its "obnoxious" national pride.
Aman's roommate said he shared his plot with him, allowing time for the man to call the police and distract the knife-wielding Florida man until the authorities arrived.
Crystal Clark, chief communications officer for Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, stated that Aman has been sectioned under the Baker Act, and the investigation is still ongoing.
"An investigation is ongoing and charges could follow. However, there is currently no safety threat for students, parents or staff of Bellamy Elementary."Ironically, the school is named for Francis Bellamy, who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance in 1882. Bellamy was a resident of Tampa for seven years.
Back in 2017, Aman shared his thoughts on patriotism on social media, saying that it isn't represented by a love for a particular country.
"Patriotism is not defined by the love you have for your 'country.' Tis the respect and natural humility you have for the earth and society around us whether that be in our neighborhood or statewide, so yes I can say I am a patriot of god."