Jail records: Woman wanted for vandalism at Charleston 9 site arrested
LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The woman wanted for vandalizing the Charleston 9 memorial site is in custody in Lexington County, according to jail records.
Eman Mubarak Brown, 32, was booked into the Lexington County Detention Center on Thursday, according to booking records.
Investigators with the Charleston Police Department said Tuesday they issued warrants for malicious injury to real property and attempts to burn against Brown, who they named as a suspect in the vandalism of the Charleston 9 Memorial Park on Savannah Highway.
Authorities said Brown also has an additional warrant for petit larceny for the theft of an American flag and South Carolina state flag from the flag pole of the CresCom bank at 884 Orleans Road.
According to police, the flags were taken two hours after the Charleston 9 Memorial was vandalized in the early morning hours of June 26.
Police said private surveillance video from a business near the memorial site and at the bank aided in the identification of the offender.
A Charleston Police officer stopped at the memorial park at 1:40 a.m. on June 26 when he noticed debris in the median. The officer found an American flag draped over a cross along with several smaller flags scattered around, an incident report states.
The officer then noticed the nine PVC pipe memorial crosses at the park had been ripped out of the ground and broken.
A witness said he had been by approximately 10 to 15 minutes earlier and had stopped when he noticed several flags in the roadway. The witness told the officer he picked up the flags and placed them in the median so that vehicles would not run over them. He said he also noticed that some of the flags smelled like gasoline, the incident report states.
Police say the American flag and the Charleston 9 Memorial flag had been removed from the flagpole in the park, and an angel statue at the Louis Mulkey memorial plaque had been knocked over and an American flag had been broken off of the Billy Hutchinson memorial plaque.
The officer also found a 1-gallon jug that smelled of gasoline near the roadway.
The memorial marks the former site of the Sofa Super Store, where nine Charleston city firefighters died battling a massive fire in the furniture showroom on June 18, 2007.
“This memorial is sacred to the Charleston Fire Department, is sacred to the service, but it’s an important part of our community. And to think that somebody would deface this memorial is absolutely heinous. It’s disgusting. And on behalf of the Charleston Fire Department. I deplore the act,” Charleston Fire Chief Dan Curia said in an afternoon news conference the day the vandalism was discovered.
The vandalism happened a week after the Charleston Fire Department marked the 13th anniversary of the fatal fire.
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