Driver Arrested After Running Over Ten Commandments Monument
OKLAHOMA CITY —
An update to news we have been covering since last week.
Michael Tate Reed, 29, of Roland, was formally charged today with the destruction of state property / improvements, indecent exposure, making threatening statements, reckless driving, and operating a vehicle while license revoked.
Reed was also charged with four counts of felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, which stemmed from incidents that occurred during his initial emergency order of detention on Friday.
"This incident has the full attention of my office. We take this matter very seriously and are reviewing exactly what took place and areas we can improve. Our goal is public safety, any modifications to our security procedures we make in the future will be in pursuit of that goal", stated Chief of Patrol Colonel Ricky Adams.
The Secret Service had arrested a Reed for allegedly destroying the Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
The Secret Service told our sister station FOX 25 they arrested the suspect after he went to the Federal Court building, admitted to crashing his car into the statue and then made threatening statements against President Barack Obama.
State troopers say the man drove across the capitol lawn Thursday evening and knocked over the Ten Commandments monument on the statehouse steps.
Troopers say he left the scene.
The statue was six feet tall and made of granite. It was authorized by the Legislature and put up in 2012 after Republican State Rep. Mike Ritze and his family donated $10,000.
The American Civil Liberties Union has sued to have it removed, arguing it violates the state's constitution, but has responded to this incident as a violation of freedom of religion. The ACLU released this statement: "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.
Governor Fallin says the monument will be rebuilt. "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," Fallin says.
Plans continue for a seven-foot-tall statue of Satan.