Arkansas Online By Emma Pettit Wed., June 28, 2017
A 6-foot-tall stone Ten Commandments monument installed Tuesday on the Arkansas Capitol grounds was toppled less than 24 hours later after a 32-year-old Arkansas man drove a vehicle into the statue, apparently while streaming the act live on Facebook, officials said.
Chris Powell, a spokesman with the Secretary of State’s Office, said he was called early Tuesday and told a man drove a vehicle through the monument. That driver — identified in an arrest report as Michael Tate Reed (pic above) of Van Buren — was arrested by Capitol police shortly after, Powell said. News reports indicate Reed was previously accused of destroying a Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma.
The Arkansas arrest report said an officer around 4:45 a.m. spotted a dark-colored vehicle “start from a stopped position and ram the Ten Commandments monument.”
“I immediately exited my vehicle and placed the subject in custody,” Corporal Chad Durham wrote, noting Reed was first taken to a local hospital before being booked into the Pulaski County jail.
The arrest report for Reed listed “unemployed/disabled” under occupation.
Reed, who was lodged in the jail shortly after 7:30 a.m., faces charges of defacing objects of public respect, trespassing on Capitol grounds and first-degree criminal mischief, according to the report. He was being held without bail pending an initial court appearance.
It was “absolutely” a shock to get the call about what happened, Powell said. Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Bigelow, who sponsored the 2015 law to erect the monument on state grounds and spoke after its installation Tuesday, didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment on what happened.
In Little Rock, investigators believe Reed recorded himself as he drove into the statue, Powell said.
In a Facebook Live video to an account under the name Michael Reed, a driver appears to shine his headlights on the monument and shouts, “Freedom!” as he drives toward it. As the vehicle hits the granite, the video cuts out.
In another Facebook video posted early Wednesday, a man who called himself Michael Reed described his beliefs in both Jesus and the separation of church and state. He spoke from a seat in a 2016 Dodge Dart.
“I’m a firm believer that part of salvation is that we not only have faith in Jesus Christ but we obey the commands of God, and that we confess Jesus as Lord,” he said in the video. “But one thing I do not support is the violation of our Constitutional right to have the freedom that’s guaranteed to us, that guarantees us the separation of church and state.”
There’s “no one religion” that the government should represent, the man said.
The Oklahoma case
On Oct. 24, 2014, a then-29-year-old Michael Tate Reed was accused of ramming his truck into a Ten Commandments statue of a similar design at the Oklahoma state Capitol in Oklahoma City, the Tulsa World reported. Authorities said he also made threats against President Barack Obama, lit money on fire and walked into a federal building to spit on pictures, the paper reported.
Reed was reportedly diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder after being taken to a mental facility for evaluation following the crash. He was released from Norman’s Griffin Memorial Hospital in January 2015 under an agreement with the Oklahoma County district attorney’s office for continued treatment and therapy.
In an email to the newspaper, Reed reportedly said how voices in his head became his norm and apologized for running into the statue.
“I am so sorry that this all happening and wished I could take it all back,” Reed reportedly wrote. The monument was paid for by more than $26,000 in private donations.
Source: http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2017/jun/28/ten-commandments-monument-arkansas-capitol-toppled/ via The Liberty Mill