(ANTIMEDIA) Dallas, TX — A Dallas man was arrested over the weekend after he allegedly walked into a downtown police station parking lot and smashed the windows and windshields of a dozen patrol cars with a sledgehammer.
Police say 58-year-old Gregory Simpson entered the lot of the Dallas Marshal’s Office at around 5 a.m. Sunday morning, proceeding to inflict thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to the squad cars.
According to local reports, an unnamed officer was alerted to Simpson’s actions and made the arrest. Simpson is being charged with criminal mischief, and his bond has been set at $50,000.
While a motive for the incident remains unknown, the Dallas Police Department says the sledgehammering of official property represents the latest in a series of attacks against officers and facilities in the city.
In June of 2015, a man opened fire on Dallas Police headquarters from an armored van, ramming the vehicle into a squad car before leading officers on a chase that ultimately resulted in his death.
In 2016, the city of Dallas made national headlines when a sniper killed five officers and wounded nine others during a rally against police violence. The subsequent standoff marked the first time in U.S. law enforcement history that a robot was used to kill a suspect.
Last year, the city’s bomb squad unit had to be called in after a suspicious package was left at the entrance of police headquarters, prompting an evacuation of the building. The package turned out to be harmless — just a bottle containing water.
However, these events, including this latest incident over the weekend, have Dallas police on edge. They say what’s needed for the protection of both officers and civilians is tighter security at department facilities.
Speaking of the Simpson incident, Dallas Police Association president Mike Mata told local FOX 4 the situation could’ve easily ended worse:
“We’re seeing this time and time again. An individual, who either has the onset or the mindset to either injure officers or injure property shows up…and we roll the dice. And we are lucky that he didn’t try to kill an officer or an officer didn’t have to kill him.”
Such a result, Mata told CBS DFW, would only exacerbate the community’s troubles further:
“We’re unfortunately gonna have to hurt somebody, injure them or possibly kill them. And who are they gonna blame? They’re gonna blame the police officer for having to do his duty.”
Last year, Dallas voters approved a nearly $7 million bond package to be used for security upgrades at department facilities. The projects are set to begin this spring but the rollout will take place over several years.