LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) – A controversial Ten Commandments monument was knocked down and destroyed on Wednesday (June 28) — less than 24 hours after it was erected at the Arkansas State Capitol.
Michael Reed, 32, of Van Buren, is accused of driving through the statue around 5:15 a.m., reported CBS affiliate THV11. Reed was allegedly filming on his cell phone when he knocked the statue over, and posted it online.
He surrendered and was taken to a local hospital, and his car was towed.
Reed is facing charges of defacing objects of public interest, criminal trespass, and first degree criminal mischief.
This isn’t the first time Reed has been accused of destroying a Ten Commandments statue. In 2014, he was accused of ramming his car into a Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol, reports affiliate KFOR.
In a letter sent to the Tulsa World in 2015, Reed described his battle with mental illness. He was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder after he was checked into Norman’s Griffin Memorial Hospital in January 2015.
Reed said in the letter that his psychotic episodes led him to believe that Michael Jackson’s spirit was contained in a killer virus inside meat, and that he heard voices that led him to believe that “Satan was the real God, and God the Father was a cruel god.” He also tried to reach Satan’s high priestess, whom he called Gwyneth Paltrow and believed he was the reincarnation of an occult leader.
He talks about the incident in this video posted in May.
A perimeter fence was put up around the fallen monument on the state capitol grounds for safety reasons and to help crews clean up the area.
The 6-foot-tall monument was placed on the Capitol grounds early Tuesday (June 27).
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee tweeted his disappointment about the monument’s destruction.
Senator Jake Rapert also voiced his disappointment.
“And this person came to our capital and with intent ran over and destroyed public property, all because he simply has a disagreement on an issue I think that’s a real problem,” he said. “That’s the same hatred, that’s the same motivation that motivates somebody to put on a mask and take a bat and go to a college campus and attack somebody who’s standing there exercising their free speech rights. It’s a problem in America. It’s the same hatred that motivates a man to go to Virginia to a ball park and ask whether it’s Democrats or Republicans playing on that field, and he identifies his target that he disagrees with politically and he opens fire and shoots these people because they simply have a difference, politically, than he does.”
Rapert said a replacement monument has already been ordered.
“I can announce to you today that we have already ordered the replacement monument. It is already ordered and the company is already working on putting that together,” he said.
Reed is being held on a $100,000 bond.