Indiana Man Arrested After Damaging Washington Monument With Paint: According to an arrest affidavit presented in court on Wednesday, the man accused of spray-painting the Washington Monument red claimed police traveled to the District from his residence in Indiana and had been planning the act for some time.
In the complaint, U.S. Park Police said that Shaun Ray Deaton, 44, was held on the National Mall on Tuesday night while wearing a paintbrush and red paint on his jeans. He was discovered with a can of red color, according to the police.
However, neither the affidavit nor a quick court hearing mentioned a potential motive. Photos revealed a vertical red paint blob at the base of the 555-foot-tall marble obelisk that also contained profanities and comments to “Gov.”
Deaton, a Bloomington resident, entered a not guilty plea to a property destruction charge in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday. She was granted freedom and told to return on October 11 for a hearing.
The judge told him not to go near the vicinity of the Washington Monument. During the brief hearing, neither his counsel nor the prosecution went into great detail about the accusations.
The representation for Deaton claimed that her client was homeless. He was recently fired from a job answering phones at an IT company, according to his brother Adam Deaton, who resides in Bloomington, and was furious after being denied disability.
According to Adam Deaton, his brother was residing with him before he vanished a few days ago. Before seeing television reports of the incident in Washington, D.C., he said he had no idea where his brother had gone.
Adam Deaton claimed that he attempted to locate his brother’s phone but discovered it had been left in a neighborhood library. He believes this was done “to confuse me and others purposely.” Adam Deaton claimed that although his brother “paid a lot of attention to what was going on in politics,” he was only aware of the denial of benefits as the source of his complaints.
Shaun Deaton allegedly told police that he had planned his acts for some time and that there would be “more to come in the future,” according to the arrest affidavit. More than $1,000 in damage, according to police estimates.
Additionally, police said that Shaun Deaton’s Subaru Forester was unharmed and had no explosives when they discovered it in a parking garage close to the Mall. In the past, national monuments in the District have frequently been defaced.
During social and racial justice protests in 2020, graffiti was scrawled on the Lincoln Memorial, leading to the arrest of a man. Police reported that someone defaced a memorial column with an expletive in 2017 intended for law enforcement.
The Lincoln Memorial, Washington National Cathedral, a statue next to the Smithsonian “Castle” on the Mall, and a statue of Martin Luther in Thomas Circle were among the locations where authorities claimed a lady with mental health concerns had sprayed paint four years previously.
One of Washington and the United States‘ most recognizable icons, the monument was the focus of the incident on Tuesday night. It is located on the Mall south of the White House and the Ellipse.
At first light, our Monument Preservation crew got to work on the Washington Monument, after it was defaced with red paint last night. The top layer of paint is coming off and the pigment that seeped into the stone will be treated with many rounds of cleaning product application. pic.twitter.com/ifFHoTTuif
The National Park Service tweeted early on Wednesday that the paint-removing process has started by its monument maintenance team. The tweet said the “top layer of paint is coming off, and the pigment seeped into the stone will be treated with many rounds of cleaning product application.”
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