Two people facing felony charges for spray painting Old Capitol

Two people have been arrested in connection with protests over the weekend. Both of them are accused of spray painting the Old Capitol during a protest on Aug. 28.


Katie Goodale

Protesters stop outside of the University of Iowa Police Department during a Black Lives Matter protest organized by the Iowa Freedom Riders on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020. This was the third protest of a four-day protest streak in which protesters took to the street to put pressure on the Iowa City City Council. These protests lead up to a Tuesday meeting during which three of their demands will be discussed.

Caleb McCullough, Politics Editor

At least two people have been arrested in connection with protests over the past weekend, both facing criminal mischief charges for spray painting the Old Capitol.

Luke Kenneth Beckner, 18, of Iowa City, was arrested Aug. 30 a little before a protest began on the Pentacrest. Beckner was released from the Johnson County Jail Monday morning. Logan Baldwin Creach, 18, also of Iowa City, was arrested on Aug. 29 and released Aug. 30. Both arrests were made by the University of Iowa Police Department.

Both men are facing a charge of second-degree criminal mischief, which is a class-D felony.

Both men are accused of vandalizing the Old Capitol on Aug. 28. A criminal complaint for Creach says he was identified by officers on the scene and through video footage. The complaint says the damage caused exceeded $1,500.

A criminal complaint for Beckner says he was identified by video surveillance and officers who had interacted with him in the past.

A third person was charged with second-degree criminal mischief at the Old Capitol, according to the University of Iowa Police Department’s arrest log, but the person is classified as a juvenile and there is no name or criminal complaint available.

The Old Capitol was spray painted extensively during protests in the beginning of June, and the University of Iowa spent an estimated $1 million removing the graffiti. UI Director of Media Relations Anne Bassett said in an email to The Daily Iowan that the graffiti from Friday night’s protest had been removed, and officers would monitor the area during future demonstrations.

“The Pentacrest is frequently used as a gathering place by the members of the campus community and residents of Iowa City to exercise their First Amendment rights. The University of Iowa is strongly committed to the freedom of expression but is also entrusted with ensuring the safety of everyone who uses its shared space and preventing the destruction of public property,” Bassett said.

At least 15 people were charged in connection with protests in early June. Mazin Mohamedali, a lead protester was arrested in June on charges of criminal mischief, criminal trespass, and unlawful assembly. Most charges were dropped in a plea agreement on June 19.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include comment from the UI Director of Media Relations.

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