EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Police arrested a 23-year-old East Providence man after he was seen on surveillance footage vandalizing the city’s police department early Friday morning.
Officers inside the building watched as Mitchell Lawson spray painted the front of the East Providence Police Department through the building’s security system, according to police.
Police said Lawson spray painted the department’s sign and a portion of the building. He also threw two large rocks through the front entrance’s glass door before hopping into his car and driving off, according to police.
Officers were able to spot Lawson’s car shortly after the incident took place. While conducting a traffic stop, officers found a can of black spray paint and rubber gloves inside his car.
Lawson was arrested and charged with two counts of vandalism, obstruction, disorderly conduct and driving with an expired license.
“I credit our East Providence Police Department dispatchers and patrol officers for their swift actions in identifying, locating and arresting the person responsible,” East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva said.
Police believe Lawson was motivated by recent national headlines involving police.
“We have always enjoyed an excellent relationship with our community and we look forward to continuing and building upon that relationship,” East Providence Police Chief William Nebus said, adding that the incident appears to be isolated.