A woman carrying a knife was arrested late Friday after she hopped the fence that surrounds the Confederate Soldier Monument on the S.C. State House grounds, according to a news release from the S.C. Department of Public Safety Bureau of Protective Services.
Shortly before midnight, Melissa High, 45, of Whitsett, N.C., walked up to the monument fence carrying a large poster board containing references to a biblical passage and the Pledge of Allegiance, the release said.
When she prepared to tape the poster to the fence, Bureau of Protective Services officers told the woman that she could not affix anything to the fence or the monument. Moments later, she climbed over the fence, then was arrested without incident. After the arrest, a 15-inch, fixed-blade knife was found in a bag she carried. She was taken to Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Columbia and has been charged with defacing a monument and carrying a dangerous weapon on capitol grounds.
High, 45, is a white female, according to the release.
The charges against High
The sections of S.C. Code of Laws that apply to Friday’s arrest of Melissa High, according to the S.C. Department of Public Safety Bureau of Protective Services.
SECTION 10‑11‑315. Defacing monuments on capitol grounds; penalty.
It is unlawful for a person to willfully and maliciously deface, vandalize, damage, or destroy or attempt to deface, vandalize, damage, or destroy any monument, flag, flag support, memorial, fence, or structure located on the capitol grounds and a person convicted of a violation of this section shall be punished pursuant to the provisions of Section 10‑11‑360.
10-11-360. A person who violates the provisions of this article is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
SECTION 10-11-320. Carrying or discharging firearm; exception for concealable weapons' permit holder.
(A) It is unlawful for any person or group of persons to:
(1) carry or have readily accessible to the person upon the capitol grounds or within the capitol building any firearm or dangerous weapon; or
(2) discharge any firearm or to use any dangerous weapon upon the capitol grounds or within the capitol building.
(B) This section does not apply to a person who possesses a concealable weapons' permit pursuant to Article 4, Chapter 31, Title 23 and is authorized to park on the capitol grounds or in the parking garage below the capitol grounds. The firearm must remain locked in the person's vehicle while on or below the capitol grounds and must be stored in a place in the vehicle that is not readily accessible to any person upon entry to or below the capitol grounds.