Vandal causes more than $100K in damages at Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Park, police say

Gary Edward Meistad, 53. (KPRC)

CONROE, Texas – Police are investigating after more than $100,000 in damages were done to monuments at Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Park, according to the Conroe Police Department.

According to police, on Tuesday evening, 21 monuments were damaged or destroyed at the park located at I-45 and SH 105.

Conroe Police responded to the scene and were able to view security video of the incident.

Officers identified the vandal as Gary Edward Meistad, 53, police said.

On Wednesday, another Conroe police officer responded to a call at a different location in reference to criminal trespass.

That officer recognized Meistad as the one seen in the video at the park the day before and placed him under arrest.

Meistad was transported to the Montgomery County Jail and charged.

His bond was set at $500 bond for criminal trespass, and $2,000 for criminal mischief; a state jail felony charge. Those charges could be escalated.

The vandalism was a hard blow for Jimmy Edwards, a disabled veteran who worked hard kickstarting a project to bring the monuments to the park. Edwards said the panels have 175 names of men who were killed in action in the wars.

He called the vandalism “malicious” and “low.”

“We take the hit, we move on and we rebuild it,” Edwards said.

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