Man angry with girlfriend breaks into Dallas Museum of Art and causes $5.2 million in damage, police say
DALLAS — A man who said he was angry with his girlfriend broke into the Dallas Museum of Art on Wednesday and caused more than $5 million in damage to artifacts and other property, according to a police document .
Dallas police said they arrested 21-year-old Brian Hernandez on Wednesday night.
Security video showed Hernandez outside the museum’s main entrance with a metal chair in his hand around 9:40 p.m. Shortly after, he was seen on video in the museum, walking from room to room, smashing display cases and the items inside, according to a Dallas police arrest record.
After hitting a crate several times, Hernandez grabbed a metal stool and smashed the glass and two pieces inside – a 6th-century Greek amphora and a pot dating back to 450 BC, according to the police document. The two items combined were valued at around $5 million, the document said.
He also smashed a crate and destroyed a “Kylix Herakles and Nemeon Lion” statue, worth about $100,000, police said.
“The items inside the display cases that were destroyed are rare ancient artifacts that are extremely valuable and one-of-a-kind,” the arrest slip reads.
Hernandez continued through the museum and used a hand sanitizer holder to smash the case containing a $10,000 “Batah Kuhuh Alligator Gar Fish” statue, which he then picked up and slammed at the ground, breaking it into pieces, the leaf said .
Hernandez was also seen on security camera video destroying other property, including a laptop, phone, monitor, two wooden display boards and four plexiglass display cases, police said.
Security quickly found Hernandez and told him to sit on a bench while they called the police.
Hernandez told a guard that he “got mad at his daughter, so he broke in and started destroying property,” the document says.
He was taken into custody and confessed during an interview with a detective, according to the document.
Kenneth Bennett, the museum’s director of security and operations, said the total damage was estimated at $5.2 million, which could change pending a final assessment by the museum’s curator and insurance, according to the police document.
“This is an isolated incident perpetrated by an individual acting alone, the intent of which was not the theft of artwork or artifacts on display at the museum,” the museum said in a written statement. . “However, some artwork was damaged, and we are still assessing the extent of the damage.”
Hernandez was unarmed, the museum said.
“While we are devastated by this incident, we are grateful that no one was injured,” the museum said.
Hernandez was incarcerated in the Dallas County Jail on charges of criminal mischief greater than or equal to $300,000. His bail was set at $100,000, according to prison records.
County records did not mention an attorney who could speak on Hernandez’s behalf.