Weldon police Chief Christopher Davis said this morning there is no evidence that suggests a Roanoke Rapids man was intentionally trying to topple a Confederate monument when he crashed into it early Sunday morning.
Davis said there was also no statement made by a female passenger riding with Solomon E. Bryant that the monument was intentionally rammed.
Davis said at the time of the crash — around 3:15 a.m. — Bryant, 25, was traveling north on Maple Street at an estimated speed of 40 miles per hour. He was coming from the Willow Drive area and ran the stop sign at Maple and East Ninth streets. He ran into the monument, which is located in the middle of the road at a roundabout near the entrance of Cedarwood Cemetery.
The impact knocked the soldier’s hat off and the stock part of the rifle the soldier was holding was knocked off. The statue has since been picked up by the street department, Davis said.
Bryant was arrested and charged with DWI, resist, obstruct, and delay, damage to real property, and disorderly conduct.
His estimated blood alcohol content was .13, Davis said. The state’s legal limit is .08.
He received a $2,000 secured bond and October 9 court date.
The monument, according to the Commemorative Lands database, was dedicated September 17, 1908 and was relocated to its current location on July 19, 1934 to make way for a paving project by the State Highway and Public Works Commission.
The dedication procession included a corps of Confederate veterans and Colonel Robert E. Lee Jr., the grandson of General Lee, delivered the keynote address.
The monument is 27-feet tall and depicts a common soldier dressed in a typical Confederate uniform, including a brimmed hat.
The north face notes the statue is in memory of Confederate soldiers and sailors and the south face notes it was erected by the Junius Daniel Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.