The new Ten Commandments monument outside the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., is blocked off Wednesday morning, June 28, 2017, after someone crashed into it with a vehicle, less than 24 hours after the privately funded monument was installed on the Capitol grounds. Authorities arrested a male suspect. (Jill Zeman Bleed/Associated Press)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Latest on the destruction of Arkansas’ Ten Commandments monument outside the state Capitol (all times local):
The lawmaker behind a Ten Commandments monument at the Arkansas state Capitol is calling the statue’s destruction “an act of violence” and says he expects to be able to raise funds quickly to replace the display.
Republican Sen. Jason Rapert on Wednesday condemned the destruction of the monument less than 24 hours after it was installed at the Capitol. Rapert sponsored the 2015 law that required the state to allow the privately funded monument on Capitol grounds.
Michael Reed was arrested early Wednesday. Authorities believe Reed drove into the monument, causing it to topple and shatter.
Rapert is vowing to have the monument replaced and installed again at the Capitol. He says he believes there won’t be a problem raising the funds needed for it. A private foundation raised more than $26,000 for the original monument and its installation.
A 32-year-old man has been booked in the Pulaski County jail in connection with the destruction of a newly installed Ten Commandments monument outside Arkansas’ State Capitol.
The driver is identified in an arrest report as Michael Tate Reed of Van Buren, Arkansas. A Facebook Live video shot early Wednesday and posted on an account belonging to a Michael Reed appears to show the destruction of the monument.
Jail records show that Reed was booked shortly after 7:30 a.m. on preliminary charges of defacing objects of public interest, criminal trespass and first-degree criminal mischief, with Capitol Police listed as the arrest agency.
Nearly three years ago, a Ten Commandments monument at Oklahoma’s Capitol met a similar fate, when a driver crashed his car into the statue, shattering it. That driver was identified as Michael Tate Reed of Van Buren, Arkansas. He was admitted the next day to a hospital for mental treatment and formal charges were never filed. It is not yet clear if he is the same person who attacked the Arkansas monument.
Officials say Arkansas’ new Ten Commandments monument was destroyed by someone driving a vehicle into it less than 24 hours after the monument was placed on state Capitol grounds.
Secretary of State’s Office spokesman Chris Powell says Capitol Police arrested the male suspect early Wednesday. The suspect’s name and motive haven’t been released.
The stone monument fell to the ground and broke into multiple pieces.
The privately funded monument was 6 feet tall (1.8 meters) and weighed 6,000 pounds (2,721 kilograms). It was installed Tuesday morning on the southwest lawn of the Capitol with little fanfare and no advance notice. A 2015 law required the state to allow the display near the Capitol, and a state panel last month gave final approval to its design and location.
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