Man drives Jeep up steps of War Memorial


Police say a man wearing an American flag drove a Jeep up the steps of the War Memorial Tuesday. A small fire was reported on the steps.

According to Indiana State Police Capt. Dave Bursten, Daniel Whitaker, 49, of Indianapolis, reportedly poured gasoline from a gas can down the steps of the memorial and ignited it. The fire, which was extinguished by firefighters, caused minimal damage.

"After lighting the fire, Whitaker, who was wearing only a pair of khaki cargo shorts and draped in an American flag, began ranting how the world was safer 50 years ago when people could go outside without having to carry a gun. Ironically, Whitaker was armed with a loaded semi-automatic pistol," Bursten wrote in a release.

An Indiana State Capitol Police officer was able to talk to Whitaker and convince him to surrender his gun. Whitaker then unloaded the pistol and threw it on the ground.

Whitaker was taken into custody about half an hour after the incident began and was checked out by paramedics at the scene. He was taken to Wishard Hospital, where he is being held on a 72-hour psychiatric evaluation hold.

He was also arrested for terroristic mischief, a Class C felony. As of Wednesday, however, he had not been charged with any crime.