An El Paso man was released from jail Sunday morning after being arrested by security guards the previous night and accused of urinating on the Alamo.
Daniel Athens, 21, was intoxicated when he was detained in front of the Alamo around 9:25 p.m., a member of the Alamo Rangers said.
Athens was arrested on two Class C misdemeanor charges of public intoxication and urinating in public. A Class C misdemeanor carries a fine of up to $500.
Melinda Navarro, the Alamo Committee chairwoman with the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, said Athens walked around the olive tree in front of the shrine, then ducked under a chain and urinated on the nearly 300-year-old limestone façade.
One of three rangers guarding the shrine Saturday night saw Athens, Navarro said.
There were numerous visitors also on the grounds at the time.
“The ranger started running toward him, but the guy had already done his thing,” she said, adding that the ranger tackled Athens. “So he took him inside the gates and waited for the San Antonio Police Department.”
Athens was released from jail around 8 a.m. after sobering up, Bexar County officials said.
He was ordered to appear in municipal court May 14.
Navarro said an Alamo curator and a preservationist will take samples from the façade to determine how the limestone might be cleaned.
Their conclusions will also be sent to the Bexar County district attorney’s office, which could charge Athens with a state jail felony of damaging a public monument. That type of felony is punishable by up to two years incarceration and a $10,000 fine.
“This is such a shame, and so disrespectful,” Navarro said. “You’re desecrating the Shrine of Texas Liberty. It stood there for freedom, and to have someone deface it like this is just awful.”
The last arrest for urinating at the Alamo was in January 2009, according to published reports.
The act was made famous by heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne, who relieved himself on the nearby Alamo Cenotaph in 1982 and then boasted about it during a concert at the HemisFair Arena. The City Council soon barred Osbourne from performing at any city-owned facilities.
He returned to San Antonio 10 years later to perform in a county-owned facility and gave the DRT a $10,000 donation.
A phone call and email to the Texas General Land Office, which has assumed custodianship of 4.2-acre Alamo complex, were not immediately returned Sunday.