Police have arrested a 22-year-old man after he was seen using his car keys to deface the interior walls in a sacred space within the great state of Texas.

Julio Perez attempted to flee after a tour guide spotted him carving “Julio” into a wall in the “Monk’s Burial Room,” of San Antonio's Alamo, but was detained by the Alamo Rangers. “We don’t take it lightly when someone comes and desecrates this area,” said Chief Mark Adkins of the Alamo Rangers.

The Alamo, the Spanish word for the cottonwood that are natural to the area in Southwestern Texas, traces its history back to the early 1700s and is a designated World Heritage Site, as well as a symbol of the battle for Texas’ independence.

“In Texas, we take our history seriously and consider the Alamo to be sacred ground,” read a statement issued by the Alamo Rangers. “Desecration of any part of these hallowed grounds, especially the walls of the Alamo Chapel, will not be tolerated, and we will support prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.”

Perez has been charged with felony criminal mischief in excess of $150,000. “The material he was etching into is of great historical value,” said Sgt. Javier Salazar, of the San Antonio Police Department.

Preservation and restoration experts are examining the damage to the interior wall, currently cordoned off to the public, to determine how to repair the damage.

The Alamo site has been the site of previous incidents of desecration. British rock star Ozzy Osbourne was arrested, but not formally charged, for urinating on the cenotaph monument in the historic plaza surrounding the Alamo.

The San Antonio City Council banned Osbourne from performing in the city after the 1982 arrest, although he performed at a county venue in 1992, making a $10,000 donation to the Daughters of the Republic who operate the historic site.

Source: KSAT



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