Nearly 24 hours after its placement, Arkansas’ new Ten Commandments monument was knocked down and destroyed by a car which rammed into it on Wednesday. Michael Tate Reed, the suspect, was arrested and booked in Pulaski County jail shortly after 7:30 am.
Micahel Reed, a resident of Van Buren, Arkansas was booked in Pulaski County Jail on preliminary charges of defacing objects of public interest, criminal trespass and first-degree criminal mischief, with Capitol Police listed as the arrest agency.
The driver drove through the statue while filming it on his mobile. A Facebook Live Video posted on his account shows the statue being smashed to ground. Arkansas’ monument fell from its base and shattered into multiple pieces. “As far as what happens to the monument, it’s unclear at this time,” Secretary of State’s Office spokesman Chris Powell was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. “The first thing will be to clean up the debris,” he added.
Three years ago, a Ten Commandments monument at Oklahoma’s Capitol was smashed in a similar way after a driver crashed his car into it. Ironically, the driver was identified as Michael Tate Reed of Van Buren, Arkansas. The driver was admitted to a hospital for mental treatment. No formal charges were filed against him. The police is still not sure if both the drivers are the same person.
The six foot Arkansas’ new Ten Commandments monument was installed on Tuesday morning on state Capitol grounds. It was opened for public view without any prior notice, nearly two years after the lawmakers voted to allow it.