A man is in jail after allegedly going on a wild vandalism spree in the state capitol building in downtown Atlanta while high on cocaine.
According to a police report from the Georgia State Patrol, Joshua Jordan Lemhouse, 27, of Atlanta, wreaked havoc on the building Sept. 30 starting at about 11:30 p.m. at the building’s loading dock on Capitol Square.
“Mr. Lemhouse walked up to Unit 60 (the capitol security car) and broke the side mirrors,” the report stated. “Officer Jason Hayes was patrolling around the capitol and saw Mr. Lemhouse damaging Unit 60. Mr. Lemhouse fled around the building and Officer Hayes exited his patrol car and chased after him.
“Mr. Lemhouse ran around to the south side of the capitol and ran up to the second-floor entrance on Capitol Square (Zone 4-Mitchell Street). He broke the glass out of the door and entered the capitol. Mr. Lemhouse grabbed a flagpole just inside the entrance and began breaking approximately 15 light fixtures and damaging two paintings.”
While patrolling the first floor, Safety Officer E. Williams heard glass breaking upstairs and went to the second floor to check it out. There he found Lemhouse, notified the radio room and tried to stop him.
“Lemhouse swung the flag pole and struck Williams in the shoulder and neck area,” the report stated. “Williams was able to get Mr. Lemhouse on the ground, but he quickly got up and ran away. Mr. Lemhouse made it up to the third floor, where he kicked in the door to the secretary of the Senate’s office. Mr. Lemhouse began to flip over filing cabinets and smashed the window in the office.”
At that point Hayes arrived and tried to tase Lemhouse, but it had no effect and he was able to break free from Hayes as he tried to arrest him, according to the report. Lemhouse then returned to the second floor, where he damaged the rotunda.
“Mr. Lemhouse ran to the doors on the west side of the capitol on Washington Street (Zone 1),” the report stated. “He knocked out the glass on the far left door and fled out of the building.”
Hayes and Sgt. Colin Powell then caught up to the suspect on Washington Street and arrested him. Lemhouse was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital, where the staff determined he was on cocaine.
Hayes and Williams were also taken to the hospital and treated for injuries. The Georgia State Patrol stated it has not yet received an estimate for the damages.
Lemhouse was charged with two counts of simple battery and one count each of obstruction of a law enforcement officer, felony interference with government property, criminal trespass and criminal damage to property in the second degree.
He was denied bond by a Fulton County judge Oct. 2, and his next court appearance will be for a preliminary hearing Oct. 16 at 9:30 a.m. in Room 1D, said Tracy Flanagan, the Fulton Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.