Monument smashing suspect has history of mental illness

Bond is set at $100,000 for a 32-year-old man who police say intentionally crashed his car into the Ten Commandments monument outside Arkansas’ Capitol.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A man who police say intentionally smashed his car into a Ten Commandments monument outside a state Capitol for the second time in recent years has a long history of mental illness, and experts say his case underscores the lack of options available to those who need mental help.

An Arkansas judge on Thursday set bond at $100,000 for Michael Tate Reed, who appeared via video from the Pulaski County jail. Reed made multiple outbursts and told public defender Peggy Egan he didn’t need her services, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Reed, 32, was arrested on preliminary charges of first-degree criminal mischief, criminal trespass and defacing an object of public respect after authorities say he destroyed Arkansas’ monument less than 24 hours after it was erected. He was also arrested in 2014 for destroying Oklahoma’s Ten Commandments statue, but was never charged in that incident.

Egan told the judge that there may be “mental health concerns,” the newspaper reported. Reed’s relatives say he has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, a chronic mental health condition characterized by hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking and manic behavior.

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Reed’s sister, Mindy Poor, said her brother’s mental health has deteriorated in recent weeks after he moved into his own apartment in Van Buren, Arkansas, and stopped taking his medication.

“He can convince people he’s perfectly fine, and he’s not,” Poor told The Associated Press. “When stuff like this happens, what are you supposed to do? We can’t physically force a man more than twice our size to take medication when he’s convinced he doesn’t need it.”

Poor said Reed’s delusions often include a hyperawareness of religious issues, and Reed made reference to religious themes in several videos posted to his Facebook account shortly before Arkansas’ Ten Commandments monument was toppled.

In one video, Reed describes himself as a follower of Jesus Christ but says he opposes any attempt to violate the separation of church and state.

Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office spokesman Chris Powell has said officials believe a Facebook Live video posted on Reed’s account that showed the…

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