Harrison Police Chief Pat Murphy said a 47-year-old Harrison man has been arrested in connection with vandalism of a controversial billboard on the Bypass.
A police report shows that an officer out at a residence on Rushing Drive about 8 a.m. Thursday arrested Chad Watkins, 47, on a warrant for first-degree criminal mischief with bond set at $2,500.
Murphy said the arrest stems from the late-November vandalism of the sign that reads (Anti-Racist is a Code Word for Anti-White.”
A witness called the HPD about 12:10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 29, to report seeing several people vandalizing the sign, a police report said. The alleged vandals had painted over part of the last two words on the sign and wrote the word “Love” on it.
Assistant Police Chief Paul Woodruff said the witness saw the act in progress and was able to give police the license plate number of a vehicle seen leaving the area Friday morning.
Deputy prosecutor Wes Bradford told the Daily Times that he had been given the case, but he forwarded it to city attorney Van Younes for prosecution.
Younes told the Daily Times on Wednesday that he had turned in necessary paperwork for an arrest warrant to the Boone County District Clerk’s Office earlier this week.
Younes said the matter would be prosecuted as a misdemeanor.
The sign has been a matter of controversy since it went up in mid-October. Some people decried the sign as racist, while others applauded it as an exercise of free speech.
Records show that Watkins was released Thursday morning after posting bail through a professional bondsman.