Hours after he allegedly spray painted the words ‘rape’ and ‘shame’ dozens of time on the Winnebago County Republican Party headquarters Sunday morning, suspect Timothy Damm talked with an Eyewitness News reporter at the scene.
Damm, 42, is charged with criminal defacement to property and resisting a police officer for what police say is his role in the vandalism at 515 N. Court Street.
The morning the vandalism was discovered, we spoke with Damm, who presented himself as a neighbor who said he had trouble sleeping the night before “with all that’s going on with the Supreme Court and everything,” in reference to the congressional hearings on the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
“I think it’s great,” Damm said of the vandalism. “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.”
The date 9/27/18 was spray painted on the building, which is the date that Dr. Christine Blaisey Ford testified before congress against Kavanaugh.
Damm was wearing a pink shirt with the same date printed on the back when he was interviewed.
“I’m an artist myself,” Damm said. “It’s hard to not focus on the beauty [of the vandalism.] It’s not about that.”
When asked if he thought the vandal had gotten their message across, Damm replied, “I think they did… Republican equals rape. That they support rape, they encourage rape, and if you rape someone, they will defend you.”
Damm was detained later Sunday at the Walmart on Riverside Blvd. where police found him in possession of additional cans of spray paint in a shopping bag.
He was taken into custody on Monday.
Damm was charged with criminal damage to property and resisting a police officer. He faces up to one to three years in prison, if convicted.
“There’s a large amount of passionate debate going on at this time,” Winnebago State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato said at a press conference Tuesday morning. “It is inexcusable to use senseless criminal actions to advance a debate.”
According to the criminal complaint, Damm danced on the table in the police interview room, stacked chairs and furnishings, and stripped down to his underwear. The complaint goes on to say that when police tried to escort Damm from the interview room he thrashed his arms and legs and refused to sit in the holding room. He was then taken to the floor and restrained in handcuffs.
The Winnebago County Republican Party issued the following statement on Sunday:
Hate has no place in the political process. Violence has noplace 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 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. I would like to thank the Rockford Police and Public Works departments for their actions thus far. We now must find the perpetrators of this criminal attack promptly so they can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
There were no similar actions taken against any Democratic headquarter when Bill Clinton was accused of rape and sexual assault. I trust that the local Democrat party, through its chairman and candidates for office, have taken steps to ensure their ranks do not include these criminals. 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.