The Department of Public Safety tells FOX 7 they worked quickly to apprehend the 22-year-old man who broke into the Texas Capitol over the weekend. People we spoke with are happy more harm wasn't done.
Access to the Capitol grounds is not restricted. DPS says the suspect in this case broke the law when he entered a restricted area in the construction zone.
How easy is it to break into the State Capitol? We found out over the weekend when 22-year-old Tanner Graeber, of Fort Worth, did just that.
"Thankful that nobody else got hurt. Let's hope he's prosecuted to the full extent of the law," says Don Logue, visiting from Denton, TX.
Around 3:30 Sunday morning, a DPS trooper saw Graeber climbing up scaffolding on the south side of the Capitol. It's an area restricted to the public as part of an ongoing renovation project.
Court records state Graeber tossed a ladder from the 2nd floor level before using another object to break a window and enter illegally. Then he went up to the third where he reportedly damaged a painting of former Governor Fletcher Stockdale. It was valued at approximately $10,000.
Shortly after, Graeber was arrested and charged with two state jail felonies. This is the first time Dan Logue and his wife have been to the Capitol. They were upset to hear what happened.
"It's tragic, that you would want to do damage to the history of this fine building and to the citizens of Texas. I feel dishonored," says Logue.
In response to this incident, we asked DPS if they were making any changes to security measures.
They sent us this statement:
We do not typically discuss security. However, DPS is constantly assessing ways to enhance security across the state. For instance, numerous security enhancements have been made to the Capitol complex over the years, including to the mansion and the State Capitol. We also adjust our security measures to meet potential threats, and when warranted, in preparation for or response to certain events.
While at the Capitol on Monday, we saw a DPS trooper manning the front entrance with rifle in hand.
It's something many people were surprised to see, but others think it might just be what's needed.
"For it to be that easy for someone to break into that building, it's kind of scary. They could have gotten a hold of something that maybe the state wouldn't want someone to get a hold of," says Christian Rico, Austin resident.
Graeber has been charged with burglary of a building and criminal mischief.
DPS says while they cannot predict the time or manner that malicious activity will take place, when it does occur, they work quickly to apprehend those responsible.
Texas DPS arrested a man for breaking into the State Capitol early Sunday morning and damaging a Governor's portrait.
DPS said Tanner Christian Graeber, 22, of Fort Worth, is being charged with burglary of a building and criminal mischief after he allegedly climbed scaffolding, kicked in a second-floor window, and entered the Capitol around 3:30 AM.
According to DPS, Graeber also intentionally damaged the portrait of former Governor Fletcher Stockdale.
Graeber was booked into the Travis County Jail.