OHP Identifies Man Accused Of Running Over Ten Commandments Monument

Friday, October 24th 2014, 11:09 am
By: News 9

A man accused of running over the Ten Commandments monument at the State Capitol with his car is in custody.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) said 29-year-old Michael Tate Reed Jr. from Roland was taken to an Oklahoma County mental facility for an emergency order of detention and mental evaluation after the incident.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, at about 7 p.m. Thursday, troopers received a report that someone had driven their vehicle into the Ten Commandments monument at the State Capitol.

The driver reportedly abandoned the car and fled the scene. Troopers said the suspect vehicle has been impounded.

Pieces of the monument have been removed from the scene. Friday morning, authorities confirmed that the suspect has been taken into custody.

According to an agent with the Secret Service in Oklahoma City, Federal Protective Services had a man in custody Friday morning due to threats he made against the President. As they interviewed him, authorities said the man admitted to crashing his car into the monument. So they turned him over to the Secret Service.

The suspect reportedly told officials with the Secret Service that he was told by the voices in his head to urinate on the monument, commit other acts upon it, and to "smash it."

According to authorities, the suspect admitted that he has been diagnosed with Bipolar and is off his medication. The suspect also told authorities that he was a Satanist.

Secret Service officials interviewed the suspect and turned him over to the OHP, since the crash is under their jurisdiction.

The monument was placed on the north side of the State Capitol in 2012. It was paid for by Rep. Mike Ritze with his own money.

Governor Mary Fallin released a statement condemning the act, and volunteered to help 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. 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.

Our monument will be rebuilt and restored. 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.”

Fallin has offered her assistance to Rep. Ritze to help lead any private fundraising efforts necessary to rebuild the monument.

State Rep. Mike Ritze, who paid for the Ten Commandments monument at the state Capitol, released the following statement after the monument was destroyed overnight.

“While I am appalled that someone would go to such lengths to do violence to our Ten Commandments monument, I am not at all shocked. I am dismayed but not discouraged by this act of violence against the monument. This monument represents the values that an overwhelming majority of Oklahomans hold close. We are not going to be bullied; the monument will be repaired and replaced. I trust our law enforcement agencies will quickly apprehend the person or persons responsible for this crime, and those people will be held accountable.”

Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director, released the following statement,

"The ACLU of Oklahoma and our clients are outraged at this apparent act of vandalism. 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."