A privately funded Arkansas Ten Commandments monument outside the state Capitol in Little Rock was up for less than 24 hours before it was knocked from its plinth and smashed to pieces by an unhinged man, identified as Michael Tate Reed.
Reed, 32, of Van Buren, Arkansas, was later arrested and sits in the Pulaski County jail on preliminary charges of defacing objects of public interest, criminal trespass and first-degree criminal mischief, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Authorities did not know whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf, and a video arraignment was set for Thursday morning, a Pulaski County sheriff’s spokesman said.
Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office spokesman Chris Powell said officials believe a Facebook Live video posted on a Michael Reed’s Facebook account that depicted the destruction is authentic.
In the video, the sky is dark and the Arkansas Capitol’s dome is visible. Music is heard followed by a female voice, likely on the radio, saying, “Where do you go when you’re faced with adversity and trials and challenges?” The driver is then heard growling, “Oh my goodness. Freedom!” before accelerating into the monument. The vehicle’s speedometer is last shown at 21 mph (33 kph) and then a collision can be heard.
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Oklahoma County Sheriff’s spokesman Mark Opgrande told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Reed was arrested in October 2014 in the destruction of Oklahoma’s Ten Commandments monument at the state Capitol. Opgrande confirmed that the suspect arrested Wednesday in Arkansas was the same person arrested in the Oklahoma case.
In a 2015 email to the Tulsa World, Reed apologized for wrecking Oklahoma’s monument and said he suffered from mental health issues.
“I am so sorry that this all happening (sic) and wished I could take it all back,” Reed said.
On Reed’s Facebook page, some actually applauded what he did.
Bill Dornan said, “I am glad to hear this was done. The monument has no business being on government property.”
“I don’t know you, but I’m definitely tracking you down and buying you several drinks when you get out, man!, said atheist Will Tucker.
An atheist liberal, Jeff Van Cleave, spouted, “Most Christians want the apocalypse. They hate their life so much, they want God to come and save them. Too bad he is only saving a certain amount, the rest get to burn with us atheists. Assuming you believe that made up bullsh*t mythology of course, which I don’t. But it’s fun to watch them squirm in anticipation.”
According to Heavy.com, Reed also posted social media messages with ominous statements toward U.S. presidents, including one that threatens both Presidents Bush and President Donald Trump.
Heavy.com also stated that Reed’s mental health struggles date to at least 2013 and that according to Tulsa World, Reed dated his struggles with mental illness to dreams he had while attending Victory Bible College in Oklahoma. In the dream, he thought Satan would attack him.
Hopefully he will receive help as it appears his mental state is unstable.
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