Man charged with Capitol vandalism
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A 27-year-old-man faced burglary, vandalism and resisting arrest charges after he allegedly broke into the ornate Pennsylvania Capitol building following a night of drinking, damaged signs and sprayed fire suppressant around Senate corridors.
Capitol Police identified the man Monday as Ryan William Stump, of Gettysburg. He was also charged with public drunkenness, mischief, disorderly conduct and trespassing.
Stump allegedly broke into the Capitol building through a first-floor window just before 2 a.m. Sunday on the House side of the building. He crossed to the Senate side, where he threw a standing wooden sign down a flight of stairs and emptied the contents of a fire extinguisher in corridors lined with Senate offices and portraits, officials said.
A Senate security officer allegedly heard Stump throw the sign and called Capitol Police, who arrived and arrested him after a short chase.
When he was arrested, Stump had an “extreme odor” of alcohol on his breath, said Capitol Police Deputy Superintendent Kevin Brown.
Brown said police did not know Stump’s motivation to burglarize and vandalize the building. Stump told police that he had come to Harrisburg to have a good time with his girlfriend, but things did not go so well, Brown said.
“Somehow they ended up in a fight and he ended up here,” Brown said.
Stump posted $25,000 bail and was released, Brown said. Stump did not respond to a message left at his listed number Monday.
Crews cleaned up the Senate’s corridors Sunday. A Senate official, Drew Crompton, chief counsel to Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, said the costs to clean up will be substantial. Restitution will be sought from Stump, Crompton said.
Seven historic portraits of senators were removed to assess and repair damage. Senate offices shut down for the day, although the chamber’s members had not been scheduled to meet Monday.