Video contradicts initial police statement on man’s Capitol break-in

Video contradicts initial police statement on man’s Capitol break-in

Months after a man allegedly broke into the state Capitol during a cocaine bender and caused extensive damage, surveillance video is calling a few details into question.

The newly released video from outside the Gold Dome, obtained by Channel 2 Action News, never shows a police officer chase Joshua Lemhouse into the building — contradicting initial police statements.

“There appear to be some discrepancies,” Georgia Building Authority Deputy Executive Gerald Pilgrim told Channel 2. “There does not appear to be a confrontation between any of the officers. I did not see that in any of the video.”

RELATED: Police release surveillance footage of man’s alleged Capitol vandalism spree

The video appears to show Lemhouse approach the east side of the Capitol at 10:57 p.m. before throwing a heavy object through a door’s glass. Less than two minutes later, he appears to damage a security car in the building’s loading dock.

At 11:01 p.m., he ends up on the west side of the building, kicking in a door and entering the Capitol, Channel 2 reported.

In contrast, the initial Georgia Department of Public Safety statement said a nearby Capitol police officer spotted Lemhouse breaking mirrors off a patrol car at 11:30 p.m. before chasing him into the building. 

MORE: Police: Man on cocaine breaks into Georgia Capitol, damages property

In a new statement provided to Channel 2, a DPS spokesperson said, “The information disseminated were the initial reports received from the Capitol Police Command … The information given was believed to be a factual synopsis and was prior to the completion of incident reports. Information does often change …”

Lemhouse spent about 17 minutes inside the Capitol, where he allegedly used an American flag to smash lights, windows and two paintings of former governors. He’s also accused of using the flag pole to strike a security guard who overheard the commotion.

Lemhouse was briefly able to escape the guard, running to the third floor of the building, where he kicked in the secretary of the senate’s office door and continued his rampage, authorities said. At one point, police used a Taser on the man, but it was not enough to stop him.

He was taken into custody outside of the building on Washington Street. Lemhouse was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where doctors determined he had cocaine in his system. 

Lemhouse pleaded not guilty to the six charges he faces, according to Fulton County court records. Those include criminal trespass, second-degree criminal damage to property, interference with government property, obstruction of a law enforcement officer and two counts of simple battery.

He remains in the county’s jail without bond, jail records show.