UPDATED 10/24/14 4:35 P.M. –
OKLAHOMA CITY – A man has been taken in for mental evaluation after allegedly vandalizing the Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
U.S. Secret Service Agents say it all started after a man walked into the Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City Friday morning making strange threats against the President and Federal Government.
Agents say he then admitted to them that he crashed his car into the Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol, then left his damaged car and walked to the Federal Building.
The Secret Service says the man told them that Satan made him crash his car into the statue.
He also told agents that Satan told him to urinate on the statue.
According to investigators, the man says he is bipolar and had been off his medication for quite some time.
Secret Service Agents determined all of the information the suspect had given them about damaging the monument to be true and turned him over to OHP Officers.
Officials say the man was taken to an Oklahoma County mental facility for an emergency order of detention and mental evaluation.
Read the original report below:
OKLAHOMA CITY – A controversial monument of the Ten Commandments at the state Capitol has been destroyed, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Someone wrecked into the 10 Commandments statue at the OKC State Capitol. pic.twitter.com/qpNltRIo75
— Maxx Crawford (@woodenwarship) October 24, 2014
The granite monument, which was privately funded stands 6 feet tall and was placed at the Capitol in Nov. 2012
Oklahoma Highway Patrol says around 7 p.m. Thursday troopers responded to an abandoned vehicle which was driven into the statue.
Workers remove the broken remains of the 10 Commandments monument @ the Capitol…It was knocked, broken overnight pic.twitter.com/IQ9evLzfrJ
— Shawn Ashley (@eCapitol_Shawn) October 24, 2014
Investigators with OHP have the suspect vehicle in custody and are continuing to investigate evidence surrounding the ordeal.
“We’ll process the scene and suspect vehicle to further the investigation in hopes of locating the responsible party”, stated Patrol spokesperson CPT George Brown.
Anyone with information which may lead to an arrest is asked to contact the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Public Affairs Office at 405-425-7709.
In September, an Oklahoma County judge threw out a lawsuit that wanted the removal of the Ten Commandments monument at the statehouse steps.
The lawsuit by the ACLU claimed the monument violates the state constitution’s ban against using public property to support church or religion.
Here is a statement from Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director, on the vandalism of the statue.
The following is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director:
[pullquote align=”right”]”The ACLU of Oklahoma and our clients are outraged at this apparent act of vandalism…”[/pullquote] While we have and continue to seek the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the Capitol grounds through the judicial process, the Ten Commandments constitute a strong foundation in our clients’ deeply held religious beliefs. To see the Ten Commandments desecrated by vandals is highly offensive to them as people of faith. Our Oklahoma and Federal Constitutions seek to create a society in which people of all faiths and those of no faith at all can coexist as equals without fear of repressions from the government or their neighbors. Whether it is politicians using religion as a political tool or vandals desecrating religious symbols, neither are living up to the full promise of our founding documents.” – Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin condemned the violence against the Ten Commandments Monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol and volunteered to raise private funds to restore it.
“This monument was built to memorialize the historical significance of the Ten Commandments in guiding our own laws and lives,” said Fallin. “It is absolutely appalling that someone would vandalize anything at the Oklahoma State Capitol – the People’s Building – much less a monument of such significance.”
The Ten Commandments monument was paid for with private funds from Rep. Mike Ritze. Governor Fallin has offered her assistance to Rep. Ritze to help lead any private fundraising efforts necessary to rebuild the monument.
[pullquote align=”right”]”Our monument will be rebuilt and restored…”[/pullquote]“Our monument will be rebuilt and restored,” said Fallin. “The people of Oklahoma will not stand for acts of violence against the Capitol or its monuments.”
“Authorities are currently investigating this criminal act. The person or people responsible for this crime will be caught and held responsible.”
The Satanic Temple has public responded to the Ten Commandments monument destruction at the Oklahoma Capitol.
The Satantic Temple condemns the action and says it is appalled to learn about the destructive vandalism.
The TST spokesperson, Lucien Greaves, issued a statement:
“The Satanic Temple was appalled to learn of the act of destructive vandalism laid upon the 10 Commandments monument in Oklahoma today. As many are aware, we are seeking to have a Satanic monument erected alongside the 10 Commandments — and only alongside the 10 Commandments. We do not want our monument to stand alone. If our monument stands at the state Capitol, we want it to compliment and contrast the 10 Commandments, with both standing unmolested as a testament to American religious freedom and tolerance. We hope that by respecting religious liberty in allowing our monument to be displayed, Oklahoma will help ameliorate any animosity between differing perspectives, not cultivate them.”
“To be clear, [pullquote align=”right”]”The Satanic Temple will not seek to erect its monument unless the 10 Commandments is restored.”[/pullquote] Oklahoma City has the option to wait until the ACLU’s case regarding the legal status of the 10 Commandments is resolved before it permits its replacement. However, if the 10 Commandments is immediately reconstructed, our monument will be ready for unveiling quite soon.”