HARRISBURG – A Gettysburg man who caused possibly tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage during a vandalism spree in the Capitol early Sunday was drunk and sneaked into the building after a fight with his girlfriend, officials said Monday.
But why Ryan Stump targeted the domed statehouse – and decided to spray a fire extinguisher on walls covered with portraits of past Senate presidents – remains an unanswered question, police said.
"Somehow he ended up in a fight and he ended up here," Capitol Police Deputy Superintendent Kevin Brown said Monday.
Stump, 27, went to Harrisburg with his girlfriend last weekend.
He entered the statehouse through a first-floor window just before 2 a.m. Sunday and roamed for about 10 minutes before police caught him after a brief foot chase, police said. He was charged with burglary, criminal trespass, vandalism, public drunkenness, and other crimes.
The spree, recorded on security cameras, caused between $10,000 and $30,000 worth of damage, police said.
Drew Crompton, the top lawyer for Senate Republicans, said seven portraits of past Senate presidents, which hang along the first-floor hallway in the Capitol, were removed by Capitol staff to be inspected for damage. He said Senate officials plan to pursue Stump for restitution.
Stump, who was released on $25,000 bail, awaits a preliminary hearing this month in Dauphin County. He did not respond to several voice messages left at his home. It could not be determined if he had a defense lawyer.
The Senate on Monday told staffers to stay home as it awaits the results of air quality tests.