Durham Sheriff Arrests More Statue Wreckers on Felony Charges

Screengrab: ABC11

Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews is keeping his promise to arrest those who illegally tore down a Civil War statue in Durham County.  On Monday, he announced the arrest of Takiyah Thompson, the woman who threw the rope around the statue’s neck, as we reported here.

On Wednesday, ABC11 reported the arrests of 35-year-old Dante Emmanuel Strobino and 24-year-old Ngoc Loan Tran observing that Tran was apparently an organizer of the protest.  On Wednesday afternoon, a fourth person — Peter Gull Gilbert, 39 — was taken into custody.

The suspects face the following charges:

  • Disorderly conduct by injury to a statue (Class II Misdemeanor)
  • Damage to real property (statue as a fixture (Class I Misdemeanor)
  • Participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class H Felony)
  • Inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class F Felony)

Sheriff Andrews released the following statement:

I am grateful the events that unfolded Monday evening did not result in serious injury or the loss of life, but the planned demonstration should serve as a sobering example of the price we all pay when civil disobedience is no longer civil. Before the protest, my staff met with our community partners to discuss how to safely and appropriately respond to the protest. County leaders were aware of the risk of damage to the Confederate statute, as well as, the potential risk of injury to the public and officers should deputies attempt to control the crowd. Collectively, we decided that restraint and public safety would be our priority. As the Sheriff, I am not blind to the offensive conduct of some demonstrators nor will I ignore their criminal conduct. With the help of video captured at the scene, my investigators are working to identify those responsible for the removal and vandalism of the statue.

Sheriff Andrews insisted he isn’t done yet and that felony charges will be the rule and not the exception.

You go, Sheriff!!!

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