Photo: Ian Price

A 70-year-old Roanoke man faces a felony charge for toppling the Robert E. Lee Memorial. Police say they noticed William Foreman tampering with the memorial Tuesday evening and asked him to leave. There was no damage at that time, but the obelisk was brought down the next night. Police say they made contact with Foreman, he has cooperated, and today, he turned himself in.

NEWS RELEASE: Roanoke Police arrested William Foreman, 70 of Roanoke, and charged him with felony property damage.

On July 21, 2020 at around 8:00pm, officers were driving through the 200 block of Church Avenue SW when they saw an individual tampering with the monument. Officers identified the individual as William Foreman, spoke with him and asked him to leave the area. There were no damages to the Robert E. Lee Monument at that time.

The next night, officers discovered the statue had been damaged. Officers made contact with Mr. Foreman, who cooperated with investigators. During the course of the investigation, a warrant was obtained for Mr. Foreman regarding this incident. On July 24th, William Foreman came to the Roanoke Police Department and turned himself in.