UNC Police have arrested a 37 year-old white male they say was spray-painting a message on Silent Sam, a confederate war memorial statue on UNC’s campus on Tuesday.
Loren Stanley Hart, of Concord, has been charged with defacing a statue or monument and resisting arrest.
Officials say that Hart was actively spray-painting the statue when police approached him in the early morning hours on Tuesday. According to police, Hart ran away but was eventually apprehended.
The statue has been spray-painted multiple times and blindfolded over the past year as part of protests against Confederate monuments and buildings named after North Carolinians with ties to the Confederacy. UNC Police say that Hart was painting a message similar to what had been painted on the statue before.
Hart’s bond was set at $500 for the two misdemeanor crimes, and he is scheduled to appear in Orange County Court on January 26.
There have been recent calls from students and members of the community to remove the Silent Sam statue from campus, saying it promotes a racist history. Others say that the statue honors their heritage. Silent Sam was constructed in 1913 to pay tribute to students and alumni who served with the Confederacy during the Civil War.