A suspect linked to vandalism outside a local Republican Party office in Illinois -- where the words "rape" and "shame" were painted -- boasted of his alleged crimes in a TV interview just hours later, saying he thinks the vandalism was "great" and he's "happy" someone did it.
Timothy Damm, 42, was detained Sunday and taken into custody Monday after police found him carrying cans of spray paint in a shopping bag, according to reports. He was charged with criminal defacement to property and resisting a police officer after he danced on a table in the police interview room, stripped down to his underwear and refused to sit in the holding room, which forced the police to restrain him in handcuffs, WTVO-TV reported. He's facing up to three years in prison if convicted.
But before his arrest and as the police were beginning the investigation, Damm did an interview with the local TV station about the act of vandalism, presenting himself as a neighbor who was troubled by last week's hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
"I think it's great," Damm said during an interview. "I haven't been great with the Republicans right in my neighborhood, but somebody labeled them for what they are. I'm happy about that."
"I'm an artist myself. It's hard to not focus on the beauty [of the vandalism.] It's not about that," he continued, adding that the vandal had gotten their message across to the Republicans. "I think they did... Republican equals rape. That they support rape, they encourage rape, and if you rape someone, they will defend you."
"I haven't been great with the Republicans right in my neighborhood, but somebody labeled them for what they are. I'm happy about that."
Damm is accused of spray painting word "rape and "shape" on multiple sides of the Winnebago County Republican Headquarters’ facade with multiple colors. The date 9/27/18 was also painted on the building, in reference to the date Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning her allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh.
At a news conference Tuesday, Winnebago State's Attorney Joe Bruscato said "It is inexcusable to use senseless criminal actions to advance a debate."
Republicans condemned the act of vandalism. "We can have our differences. We can have good spirited debate. I hope whoever is responsible for this will be brought to justice," state Rep. John Cabello, a Republican, said in a Facebook post. "You are a coward for doing it unless you come forward!"
"We can have our differences. We can have good spirited debate. I hope whoever is responsible for this will be brought to justice. You are a coward for doing it unless you come forward!"
Republican state Sen. Dave Syverson said the vandalism “falls under the realm of a hate crime,” although he acknowledged it fell outside the scope of the legal definition. He also speculated that “with the amount of damage around [the] entire building, it’s clear this was not done by one person [but] was planned and organized.”
The Winnebago County Republican Party also issued a statement Sunday, blaming Democrats for inciting hate against the party and urging to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.
"Hate has no place in the political process. Violence has no place in the political process. Our party is the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, not the party that spawned the Klu Klux Klan or enforced segregation. We do not seek to capitalize on victims' lives or memories to advance a purely political agenda, as seen in the past month by Sen. Feinstein and our own Sen. Durbin," the party's statement read.
"The Winnebago County Republican Central Committee Headquarters is located in the building in which seven women work each day. It’s the place in which over two dozen female precinct committeeman meet to fulfill their commitment to our community. They should not have to be afraid because some people could not control their hate," it continued.
"When you cannot succeed on facts or issues, you degrade to insults and violence. Is it any wonder, after months of attack ads in this state and the move toward 'guilty until proven innocent' in the U.S. Senate, that this type of violence has found its way to Rockford?"
"There were no similar actions taken against any Democratic headquarter when Bill Clinton was accused of rape and sexual assault. … When you cannot succeed on facts or issues, you degrade to insults and violence. Is it any wonder, after months of attack ads in this state and the move toward 'guilty until proven innocent' in the U.S. Senate, that this type of violence has found its way to Rockford?
“We call on Republicans and conservatives to take a look at these walls, and make sure to go to the polls this fall.”
Fox News' Kaitlyn Schallhorn contributed to this report.