Lakewood woman cited in removal, vandalizing of US flag at Aurora ICE facility

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AURORA, Colo. — The woman cited for criminal tampering following the removal and vandalizing of an American flag at an ICE detention facility in Aurora earlier this month is a 38-year-old from Lakewood.

According to a summons obtained by FOX31 and Channel 2 Tuesday, Michelle Mata was cited on July 24.

The flag was removed on July 12.

According to the Associated Press, protesters pulled down the American flag in front of the detention center, tried to burn it and replaced it with a Mexican flag.

The protest, which was one of many coordinated across the country, drew about 2,000 people and was mostly peaceful.

However, police said that a few people passed a makeshift barrier outside the center run by the GEO Group and crossed a vehicle bridge, causing hundreds to follow.

Some removed three flags — the U.S., Colorado and GEO flags. The two other flags were replaced with ones with anti-police messages.

Several people remain at large.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867. Tips can also be emailed to A reward of up to $4,000 is being offered.

Mata is due in court on Aug. 27.

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