An Alaska man has been arrested on a felony charge stemming from the destruction of Sioux Falls SculptureWalk pieces in downtown Sioux Falls earlier this month.
Brady Alexander Jackson, 35, is charged with one count of vandalism for intentional damage to property between $100,000 and $500,000.
Jackson was arrested Tuesday in Fairbanks, Alaska, after the state’s attorney’s office issued an arrest warrant, Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Crystal Johnson told media during the daily police briefing Wednesday. He is currently waiting extradition back to South Dakota, she said.
Jackson faces a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison and up to a $30,000 fine.
Officers responded to a report of vandalism downtown May 5 after two sculptures and several business windows at U.S. Bank and the Carroll Institute were damaged, according to Jackson’s arrest warrant. A rock was also thrown through a truck’s windows around the same time, the warrant states.
The first art piece damaged was outside of Lucky’s Bar near 10th Street and Phillips Avenue. Called “Protection,” the marble sculpture by Jade Windell laid in pieces the morning of the incident.
It is valued at $16,000, and was part of the 2019 collection.
“Somebody actually pushed that one off of the base,” Sioux Falls police spokesman Sam Clemens said at the time. “Apparently, it’s completely destroyed.”
The second, called “Day at the Park,” was part of the 2016 collection and had since been permanently placed in front of U.S. Bank, near Main Avenue and 9th Street today.
It once showed two young boys dressed in baseball team garb, standing tall on top of a base for display.
The piece was created by Lawrence Starck in Colorado, and is worth $24,000, according to the SculptureWalk website.
Video evidence played a major part in identifying the suspect in the case.
“Fortunately, a lot of things now seem to be on video tape,” Johnson said. “We had some really nice video tape of him walking downtown to see the vandalism that was done. He was also recognized walking through the airport and law enforcement were able to put those pieces together.”
According to his arrest warrant, Jackson was in Sioux Falls to buy a dog and had lived in Sioux Falls for a short time prior to moving to Alaska.
He was recognized at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport by someone who sent in a tip to CrimeStoppers and stated Jackson had been spotted wearing the same clothing as the person of interest as he walked through the terminal the same morning the vandalism was reported.
A separate tip to CrimeStoppers also revealed details that allowed law enforcement to connect them to Jackson through his girlfriend, the warrant states. As Jackson spoke to police, he confirmed he had been in downtown Sioux Falls the night of the vandalism before leaving the airport the next morning.
“Brady denied causing any damage, however stated he does have PTSD from his military service,” the warrant says.
Investigators reviewed footage from the airport and confirmed Jackson was wearing the same clothing as the suspect.
Jackson is accused of causing more than $137,000 worth of damages.
“The ScultpureWalk is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Sioux Falls, not withstanding the Falls,” Johnson said. “This was a significant amount of damage done. It’s been kind of a really trying time for everybody, and I think this struck a lot of people as being a very personal crime, particularly by somebody who doesn’t reside here.”
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