UPDATE: Feb. 15, 3:22 p.m.
PULASKI COUNTY, Va. - Authorities have arrested the man they say is responsible for destroying a memorial for a Pulaski County sergeant.
John Logan Davidson is charged with reckless driving, destruction of property and leaving the scene of an accident, according to Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Justin Griffith.
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help finding the person(s) responsible for damaging the roadside memorial for Sgt. Perry Hodge. The fallen sheriff’s deputy died last month in a crash.
It is believed the memorial on Route 11 north of Dublin was damaged in the overnight hours of Saturday into Sunday, according to the sheriff’s office.
“To whoever did this, let me explain a few things to you. Perry Hodge was one of the absolute best people to ever walk this planet. What he stood for while he walked among us is something that you will never understand, but that does not mean you have to try to besmirch his memory,” the department said in a Facebook post Sunday.
Shortly after the Facebook post, an anonymous person rebuilt the roadside memorial in its place with the materials damaged in the incident.
Radford resident Carter Ingram paid his respects at the rebuilt memorial, and had harsh words for whomever could have damaged the monument deliberately.
“If you did this, I’m sorry your life is so miserable that you would even think to do something so evil,” Ingram said. “To the people that re-erected the memorial, bless you. To everyone who cares, bless you. To honor someone is the greatest thing the public can do, especially a public servant.”
Hodge, 49, was killed in a head-on car crash in January at about 4 a.m. along Route 11, north of Dublin and about a mile south of Route 1170, according to Virginia State Police. Police said a 2011 Chevrolet 1500 pick-up truck was going south on Route 11 when it crossed the centerline and collided head-on with a 1998 Ford F-150 pick-up truck going north.
It is unknown how the memorial was damaged.
Anyone with information can call the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office main line at (540) 980-7800, the anonymous tip line at (540) 980-7810, or leave a private message on their Facebook page.