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Bunnell’s Charles Cowart Jr. Arrested Again, For Allegedly Stealing 15 Flags in 3 Cities

| February 26, 2018

Images released by the Sheriff's Office of the flags Charles Cowart Jr. is alleged to have stolen over two years from Palm Coast, Bunnell and Flagler Beach.

Images released by the Sheriff’s Office of the flags Charles Cowart Jr. is alleged to have stolen over two years from Palm Coast, Bunnell and Flagler Beach.

Late Sunday night sheriff’s deputies responded to the area of 6601 on County Road 305 after reports of a suspicious person in the area.

Charles Cowart Jr. lives not far from there–when he’s not at the county jail or committing one mischief or another, or doing strange things, like riding down the streets of Bunnell on horseback, with hardly any clothes on: he has issues. He’s had drinking and other substance abuse issues. He’s had psychological issues. The details are not known: privacy laws make sure of that. But those who know him–and many people in west Flagler know him and his family of long standing–see the issues and beyond the issues: he’s nobody’s fool, when he’s not prey to his demons.

But he falls prey to them a lot, even though most of the charges against him have been dropped over the years, including for more violent allegations. His continued presence at his home in west Flagler, without treatment, has been inexplicable, or at least not explained, which has led to further arrests and more inexplicable behavior.

Monday evening Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies found him and his father chasing after horses on County Road 305. They also found him angry and impaired, according to a sheriff’s incident report. A deputy smelled alcohol and termed him “intoxicated.” He was holding a harness. He was trying to catch two horses. The deputies quickly found the horses and helped the Cowart’s father secure them in a cow pen nearby.

Then Charles Cowart Jr., who goes by Skeeter out west, and has a conscience, told the deputies he had something to show them at his home, putting it in sharper terms to one of the deputies: “I did some fucking rude shit. You need to talk to me.” He kept repeating that. The deputy had no idea what he was talking about, according to the deputy’s report.

He then requested that deputies drive him to his grandmother’s house, where he lives, in the same neighborhood. Cowart went into the house the back out with a large American flag, about 15 by 25 feet. He claimed he’d stolen it from the Indian Trails Sports Complex a few hours earlier. How was not explained. Those flags there fly very high on an immense pole and cost $500 (the value listed in the sheriff’s incident report), though they’re also stored in a building. He claimed he’d also stolen another one from Palm Coast Parkway, valued at $153. That one, he’d draped over his bed.

Before long he owned up to stealing more than a dozen flags that had been displayed publicly. He claims to have stolen them over a two-year span, including a flag from Bunnell City Hall, stolen last July 4. That flag, he’d wear while going out to a bar. The reason? Because, according to one police report, “because we don’t give a shit about the flag,” he told a deputy–a statement that can hardly be said of local government agencies, let alone Bunnell, which has a particularly reverential relationship with American flags and in 2015 held an actual retirement ceremony for 90 flags that were to be discarded.

Cowart’s statement only underscored the occasional distance he seemingly finds himself from reality. So do his actions: as he was retrieving the flags for the cops’ inspection, he offered them tea.

The deputies escorted Cowart to his father’s house where he’d also stored flags, including one stolen from the Flagler Beach Police Department–a remarkably brazen act–and several others from Flagler Beach, among them a welcome sign: he did not limit himself to flags. He’d also stolen an Italian flag from a pizza shop in Flagler Beach (luckily, he appears not to have been near Italian soccer fans), and a peace symbol stolen from Flagler Beach as well.

And so the routine Cowart is well familiar with followed its course: he was arrested, he was transported to the Flagler County jail, he was booked. He smiled as his booking picture was taken, just as he has more often than not when booked at the jail. This time the sheriff’s office opted to issue a release calling him a “serial Flagler County flag thief” and listing his previous violent charges with little context. The strict accuracy of the release belied the absurdity of Cowart’s case, a difference courts don’t take into account.

He was charged with petit theft, then grand theft, and probation violation: he was sentenced to drug-offender probation for three years in 2017.

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31 Responses for “Bunnell’s Charles Cowart Jr. Arrested Again, For Allegedly Stealing 15 Flags in 3 Cities”

  1. palmcoaster says:

    Again Skeeter mischief’s? Your editorial Flaglerlive was short of funny. This country boy is always getting himself in trouble and looks like the only one that forgives him is his grandma.
    I been at his parents farm harvesting blueberries and sure his mom, dad and sister are lovely people.
    I am wondering if Skeeter will ever grow up of being a brat child and sure needs substance abuse treatment before getting himself in more serious trouble…Some how he reminds me the funny bad guys in the old cowboy’s movies. Sure took some incredible skills to get all those flags maybe because he just likes to be in the news.

  2. Edman says:

    … and does this deranged person happen to own any weapons?

  3. Jenn says:

    This individual needs some serious mental help he has a rap sheet that is outrageous. He either needs to be in a mental institution because apparently jail does not phase him

  4. hawkeye says:

    His Dad is a great guy, too bad he turned out the way he has

  5. ConstantlyAmazed says:

    “He’s had psychological issues. The details are not known: privacy laws make sure of that.”

    Another “HUMAN TIMEBOMB” with violent tendencies, emotional issues & alcohol dependency who keeps getting redeposited into society by the criminal justice system. Does anyone else see a problem? Or do we finally wait for the potentially violent tragedy that usually happens like we just seen in Parkland and point fingers?

  6. Kathy says:

    So where is he now? In the county jail, or sent back out into the community where he could possibly harm himself or others? He just needs some help addressing his mental health, please.

  7. capt says:

    There is room at the Green Roof Inn for a day or two or maybe its now time to Baker Act the person for some mental assistance.

  8. Trailer Bob says:

    My God…the number of mugshots of this guy is huge! Time for some mental health treatment for this dude. What the hell is the law waiting for on this time bomb?

  9. Hunter says:

    Did anyone hear about the countless warning signs a certain individual in South Florida exhibited over a three year period, ending in tragedy? Yes.. He may come from a nice family and he may be “cute” or just a “Good ‘ol Buddy” but Charles Manson was very charismatic also. By no means am I leveling him to an animal, but Pit Bulls and many others are wonderful, warm and cuddly PETS until they “SNAP”. My degrees are in Sociology and I assure you, jail is not where he should be. In his case jail as a correctional tool does not apply. He needs intervention in a locked down medical facility until his exact behavior and tactics are well understood and documented. Once that is achieved, finding the right “cocktail” of medications is the physiological phase, for which he may have to take the rest of his life. He may be yearning for the life he has never tasted.Clearly he has a chasm to fulfill simply based on his attention seeking crimes he continues to engage in. I feel so sad for him, wondering if he has EVER felt truly happy and fulfilled. He may laugh and be loving at times, but he perhaps know no other way to live. Once we as a society thru our social and medical community finds him not only a general doctor and psychiatrist for the physiological chemical treatment, he then needs a qualified psyCHOLOGIST to bring out the best in him and find where the worst is coming from. He also needs an at home counselor that interacts with him away from clinical environments within his home, family and friends. It may take awhile but I plead with all who know him to start a journey, a very opposing one that clearly has not worked, if any was ever implemented. Unfortunately with our county so small, finding truly qualified teams to help him will be hard to come by. Trust me, it is much harder to rate and find good doctors the fall under the umbrella of psychiatry, simply because every single person is different and responds in their own way, therefore there is no checks and balances or benchmarks if you will to make sure they are on the right track. PLEASE stop sending him to jail before he does something to hurt someone, including his family when they lose him to prison for the rest if his life where their is NO chance in hell he will ever feel what it’s like to live as most of us do. He is crying for help with these antics, without even knowing it and it seems that goes for everyone around him as well. If I were to ever win the lottery, he would be the kind of investment I would go with. Not some massive charity where only cents are used per dollar because of administration. How wonderful it would feel if we had even a small part of him seeing a whole new life that we take for granted.

  10. John dolan says:

    He is definitly the” Cowart” of the County. Most counties in Florida have one or more Skeeters.

  11. Rick Kang says:

    Sounds like he is from a hard working farm family; so WHAT happen? Stealing American Flags is really a very STUPID crime! Like in the movie”Cool Hand Luke”(cutting off the tops of parking meters)!

  12. FlagerRedo says:

    I saw Skeeter’s pulled over for riding an office chair down A1A last year in Flagler Beach. Pretty funny. I’ll take 2 Skeeter’s over a Micheal Brown.

  13. another vet says:

    So if one day he gets caught stealing and gets shot will it still be funny and who will get blamed?

  14. Anonymous says:

    This guy is screaming for help–not enabling, which is all he has been getting.

  15. FlagerRedo says:

    “So if one day he gets caught stealing and gets shot will it still be funny and who will get blamed?”

    Sorry….you don’t shot people for property crimes. ie, stealing a flag.

    You probably shouldn’t have a gun.

  16. HonkeyDude says:

    Id take two Skeeters per any one of you suggesting that he needs mental issues anytime. At least he has the BALLS to own up and stand for what hes done. He doesnt look for someone to blame it on. After all hes done, he still has his pride, honesty, and integrity.

  17. Concerned Citizen says:

    Maybe he doesn’t have mental health issues. Maybe he’s just a thief and an asshat for stealing property that doesn’t belong to him.

    In this day and age it seems mental health is a loosely coined phrase and a get out of trouble/jail card. He just admitted to stealing property and turned it over to the SO. Now it’s time to pay the price.

    Hopefully he’ll get some time to think about what he’s done. Then if he needs counseling or help he can get it there or after his sentence is up.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like he is harassed when he can’t even ride his horse through town without being chased and is criticized for what he is wearing—no wonder charges are made and dropped. Is law enforcement just trying to make this kid have a wrap sheet as long as his arm for BS so when he does do something wrong they can hang him? Is there really a requirement as to how much clothes a man is required to wear in the summer? Shorts alone should be sufficient. Can you get a DUI on a horse? Sounds like law enforcement has too much free time on their hands. Maybe this is why nightly we see 2 FCSO vehicles parked side by side on the vacant cleared lot on County Road 305……probably $100/hour of our tax dollars going down the drain for these cops to just sit there chewing the fat and our Sheriff has no problem with that but he will spend tax payers money sending out letters with his name in massive sized print asking for donations. What crimes do cops out in the west side stop or discover before they are reported?

  19. Geezer says:

    Quite the huckleberry that Mr. Cowart.

  20. Anne says:

    Just a tragedy waiting to happen. Hope he gets some much needed help

  21. Brian says:

    @Hunter that is all warm and fuzzy, are you paying for all of that?

  22. Haw Creek Girl says:

    I’ve known Little Charles all his life. He has demons as we all do. He is not the next school shooter or the next mentally ill person to harm anyone. All of Little Charles’ harm unfortunately falls upon himself. Honestly, putting this out there publicly in the press is one of the worst things. Little Charles is already infamous enough and his demons are well known. Let’s let his family….who are indeed good, upstanding productive members of a founding family….deal with their family pain and heartbreak privately. They have the resources to help their son and the added attention only makes the situation more painful for all involved. No one likes to see a life that could be so very productive and prosperous and happy going to hell in a handbasket at an extremely high rate of speed. Move along folks, there is nothing to see here.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Sounds Bi-Polar to me.

  24. Jenn says:

    At what point do you see in being productive? Other than stealing and other issues that he’s been arrested for do you account that as being productive? He’s a grown man who needs to take responsibility for himself not his parents stop sticking up for a ticking time bomb.

  25. Jolene dehart says:

    The Cowart family is one of the original founders of Flagler county and owns a vast majority of the West end of the county an area consisting of hundreds of acres of agricultural and livestock farms. Like it or not, the Good Ol’ Boys carry great weight in the area. Skeeter, who is known to all, actions are more similar to “antics” than crimes.

  26. Born and Raised Here says:

    I’ve known Skeeter and the Cowart’s all my life, and Skeeter does have issues that need to be taken care of. He puts a tremendous burden on his family, that are real good country folks, One thing that could have been done to avoid this is for all the businesses, county, and city complexes in the county is to take the American flag down at night. You would be surprise how many of these places fly the American flag at night in total darkness without any illumination on the flag. This is a big disgrace to my country and my flag.

  27. blondee says:

    @HawCreekGirl “they have the resources to help their son”. WTH are they waiting for?

  28. HonkeyDude says:

    I think he’d fix alot of these stupid games going on in the government!

  29. Haw Creek Girl says:

    @Blondee They aren’t waiting, it’s a process….he has relapses and that can’t be planned for unfortunately

  30. quent says:

    he got my flag too

  31. guest says:

    Coming from a family member, multiple attempts have been made to help him and get him the help he needs. When someone continuously refuses, it is hard and draining to keep pouring in your time and love to someone who keeps pushing away. Multiple family members have reached out but he doesn’t want the help. Unless you are living in this situation and having to scroll through and read comments about your kin from people who know nothing about him, please keep the assumptions to yourself. He is a good person who made some very bad decisions and continues to travel down a path to destruction but that doesn’t mean that people haven’t tried to steer him towards a better path.

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