Police say the man accused of vandalizing the Confederate monument in Pensacola’s Lee Square in June has been arrested on suspicion of DUI.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers arrested Gregory Alexander McDade, 24, on suspicion of drunken driving early Wednesday morning in Escambia County.
McDade now faces charges both for defacing the monument and driving under the influence, according to Mike Wood, spokesman for the Pensacola Police Department.
According to county records, McDade was charged with damage to property – criminal mischief, violating an Escambia County Parks and Recreation ordinance, two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol and hit and run.
He was booked into the Escambia County Jail with a $7,500 bond and remained in custody as of 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
► Vandals deface Confederate monument in Pensacola’s Lee Square
► Arrest warrant issued for suspect accused of vandalizing Confederate monument in Lee Square
► A ‘coup’ led by white supremacists led to placement of Pensacola’s Confederate monument
On June 30, police found spray painted words that appeared to read “Your Confederate Dead” on one side of the monument in Lee Square and red paint on the monument’s other side.
Police on July 8 announced that an arrest warrant was issued for McDade on suspicion of felony criminal mischief.
Shortly after the vandalism was discovered, Wood told the News Journal that officers had been routinely surveying all monuments and statues within city limits as a part of their daily duties and night patrols.
“We routinely get out and walk around the monuments, not just this one,” Wood said, referring to the Confederate monument. “But we patrol them all, this one and Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza and all of them.”
Lee Square was closed to the public after the monument was vandalized. City crews on July 1 installed a chain link fence around the monument and pedestrian barriers around the small park.
At a special meeting July 14, the Pensacola City Council voted to remove the monument and change the name of Lee Square back to its original name of Florida Square.
A lawsuit challenging the statue’s removal has since been filed.
Colin Warren-Hicks can be reached at email@example.com or 850-435-8680.