I-Team 8

Police to try learn how vandals entered Indiana Statehouse while closed

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Vandalism at the Statehouse ranged from broken glass to shattered computer screens to graffiti, based on exclusive pictures taken before the Statehouse was open to the public Monday morning.

A bench from one of the upper floors of the Statehouse thrown down through the Rotunda and left in pieces. Statehouse staff were spotted early Monday morning sweeping up glass in the same area.

The suspects found some fake dollar bills and threw them all over another area.

I-Team 8 asked the Indiana State Police how someone could get in the Statehouse and do this kind of damage and not be noticed right away. Capt. Ron Galaviz said, “That is a question we are working on with the Capitol Police, IDOA (Indiana Department of Administration) and the Statehouse to try and determine so we can make those corrections so this doesn’t happen again.”

I-Team 8 was told the doors to the Senate chambers were locked, which kept the suspects from entering.

The majority of the damage appeared to be in the House of Representatives chamber. Almost everything that was left out in plain sight in the House chamber was knocked over or thrown across the room. Every desk has small Indiana and U.S. flags, and more than a third had been destroyed or thrown around the chamber. White paint or white markers were used to write on several desks or monitors.

Capitol Police are responsible for the security of the Statehouse. The building was closed to visitors Sunday.

I-Team 8 was told the suspects entered the building through the west entrance on the second floor.

Also, I-Team 8 was told, nothing of historical significance was damaged.

State police said four teenagers were caught running from the Statehouse. Galaviz said, “They chased them outside and actually caught them near the (downtown) canal, so after speaking to them and getting some ID, trying to get a sense of what was going on, they were turned back over to their parents.”

State police declined to discuss a possible motive. “As this thing gets rolling along, hopefully that is a question we can certainly answer,” Galaviz said. 

State police had yet to reveal on Monday a dollar value to the damage.

Anyone who saw someone enter or run from the Statehouse on Sunday was asked to call state police.