ROCKFORD, Illinois -- A Rockford man was accused of spray painting the words "rape" and "shame on the Winnebago County Republican Party Headquarters building.
The vandalism was discovered Sunday morning, September 30 at the building, located at 515 North Court Street, according to police. Three sides of the building were vandalized.
The next day, 42-year-old Timothy Damm was arrested and charged with criminal defacement of property and resisting a peace officer, police said. If convicted, those charges combined are punishable of up to four years in prison.
"Anybody thinking of using senseless commissions of crimes such as damaging prop to advance a message or cause will be held accountable," State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato said.
Police said they are sending a strong message to the public, that they respect public debate, but do not support criminal activity to get an opinion across.
"Anybody that's going out and committing vandalism like this, criminal defacement, we're gonna go after them with everything we've got and make sure they're held accountable for their actions," said Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea.
Damm's bond was set at $25,000; online jail records show he was released on bond. His next court appearance was set for October 11 at the Winnebago County Justice Center.
Police said they believed Damm was the only person involved, but said the investigation is ongoing.