Less than 24 hours after a Ten Commandments monument was installed on the Arkansas capitol, it was toppled to the ground by a maniacal driver who broadcast his crime on Facebook Live. In the video, the man bellows, “Oh my goodness,” before yelling “freedom” and smashing into the monument. The Arkansas State Capitol Building can be seen in the background.
The Arkansas Secretary of State’s office said that Capitol Police arrested a male suspect in the early hours of Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. The suspect has since been identified as 32-year-old Michael Reed, and a dive into his Facebook profile shows some absurd posts. On Monday, Reed wrote “I’m a hell fire and brimstone prophet of my God Jesus Christ who is the I am and who came in the flesh.” Later that same day, he declared on Facebook, “After I ran into the ten commandments monument, I told federal officers I was going to kill Obama, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. but Trump shall be destroyed without hands.”
— THV11 (@THV11) June 28, 2017
Reed also appears to have set up a GoFundMe under the title “Defending our Constitutional Rights.” In the description, he wrote, “I need a new car now #CHECKMATE.”
— Marci Manley (@Marci_Manley) June 28, 2017
— Austin Kellerman (@AustinKellerman) June 28, 2017
According to the AP, the monument was 6 feet tall, weighed 3 tons and was installed on Tuesday morning. According to WRAL, Reed was booked int the Pulaski County Jail with “preliminary charges of defacing objects of public interest, criminal trespass and first-degree criminal mischief.” And this is not the first time that Reed has smashed a copy of the Ten Commandments; in 2014, he committed the same act and was put in a mental care facility.
The monument was privately funded and the subject a long, controversial battle. The ACLU declared they would sue over the display, claiming that it represents an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. And in another absurd twist, the Temple of Satan lobbied to install a statue of Baphomet, which is a Pagan deity with the head of a goat and the torso of a man.