Monday, September 26, 2022

Shaun Ray Deaton: Suspect arrested for vandalism at Washington Monument

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Shaun Ray Deaton of Bloomington, Indiana, has been arrested and charged with vandalism, accused by US Parks Police of spraying red paint and writing an explosive-laden political message in graffiti, according to law enforcement officials.

Deaton, 44, told NBC 4 Washington he was homeless and suffering from physical and mental health issues. He told the NBC affiliate that he wanted to be arrested so he could get the help he needed.

“If you’re poor and a nobody, your only chance is to roll the dice and get some attention, good or bad,” Deaton told local news station.

Here’s what you need to know:

Deaton’s expletive-filled message was censored in most of the photos. what did it say The Huff Post reported that the graffiti read “Have u been f***** by this” with an arrow pointing up. The next line says, “Gov says hard shit.”

The United States Parks Police (USPP) issued a statement on Wednesday, January 21, 2022 saying they arrested Deaton the night before. He was accused of trespassing, manipulation and vandalism, it said. The statement said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges could be brought. They also asked anyone with additional information to call the USPP Tip Line at 202-379-4877 or email them using this contact form.

The statement read:

Officials told NBC 4 Washington that Deaton was arrested on the spot after police said they saw him deface the memorial. He still had his brush in hand, police told NBC 4 Washington.

According to NBC 4 Washington, U.S. Park Police were making their rounds when they said they saw him vandalize the west side of the memorial. Deaton was arrested, charged and released on his own, the local news outlet reported. His mug shot was not immediately released.

“To see an attack like this and vandalism like this is certainly discouraging,” National Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst told the news channel.

The National Park Service’s National Mall Division sent its monument restoration crew “at first light” on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 to begin work on the paint removal wrote on Twitter. The statement said the process will not be easy and that pigment removal will require multiple rounds of cleaning.

They write:

Deaton claimed in interviews with NBC 4 Washington that he bought paint that he thought would be easy to remove.

Crews and conservation teams told NBC 4 Washington that they scrubbed, pressure washed, and applied chemicals to the memorial. Court documents reviewed by the news channel said the cost of the removal was $1,000. The recovery process is expected to take days or weeks and will require multiple rounds of treatment, Litterst told the news channel.

“We’ve seen good success, maybe 80% removal, just on the first treatment,” Litterst told NBC 4 Washington.

Deaton told NBC 4 Washington that he has “a very painful chronic illness” and has been living in his car for several weeks. He told the news channel he tried to get government support but was unable to.

“I’ve tried everything — federal, local, state, whatever,” he told the news channel.

His last resort was the destruction of the national monument, he told the news channel.

“Deaton said he was physically and mentally exhausted when he arrived in the district. He said he plans to paint those words on the side of the Washington Monument not as some sort of political statement, but in the hope that he’ll be arrested and get the help he needs,” NBC 4 Washington reported.

Deaton told NBC 4 Washington that the scenario played out as he expected.

“That’s the fight I had with all these people before I even did that,” Deaton said. “I knew this was all going to happen. So I just did it and just let them do it.”

Deaton said he sees vandalism as his only option, according to NBC 4 Washington.

“If you’re poor and a nobody, your only chance is to roll the dice and get some attention, good or bad,” Deaton said.

According to his LinkedIn page, he earned a degree from Indiana University in 2010.

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