The assailant assumed responsible for yesterday's attack on the office of State Senator Wendy Davis has been arrested. The following statement was released from the Senator's office.
Senator Wendy Davis today praised the actions of the Fort Worth Fire and Police departments that led to the arrest of a suspect in the firebombing of the Senate District 10 office in Fort Worth on Tuesday.
Davis said she is thankful that quick actions by a Senate staff member helped prevent any injuries or serious damage to the office building. Two Senate staffers were inside the office when several Molotov cocktails were left at the office door, blocking the exit with waist-high flames. Senator Davis was not in the office at the time of the attack.
“We do not know what motivated this violent incident, but this highlights the risk that we all face in the public service arena while standing up for important issues, which sometimes lead to an unsavory dialogue in public discourse,” Davis said.
As to the individual who was behind the attack?
“As we've been informed, the man who is accused of attacking our office is terribly troubled and has some mental health issues,” Davis said. “My heart goes out to his family, who I understand from media reports, have tried hard to help him. I am hopeful this incident will lead to him receiving the mental health care services that he needs.”
Cedric Steele, 40, was profiled by the Star-Telegram, largely based upon conversations with his brother. Steele suffers from mental illness and is homeless and it is doubtful that any specific political motivation was cause for the attack.
Steele said that although his brother has previously expressed anger at The Potter's House church in Dallas and at the Dallas Mavericks for reportedly dismissing ideas that he'd shared with them, Steele had never talked of any anger he might have held against Davis or any politician.
“I doubt if he's even watched TV to understand what her political views are or read about them,” Curtis Steele said.
More likely, Curtis Steele said, his brother wanted to discuss a discovery or idea he considered “brilliant.”
An arrest warrant affidavit released Wednesday said Steele had left part of a dead animal at Davis' office during a recent visit, “stating it was a new species and wanted the senator to see it.”
“His mind has sent him to believe he's made this miraculous discovery or come up with a great idea. He tries to pass it off to the highest level he could reach to help channel his idea. If whoever it was didn't receive him the way he thought he should be received, that triggers the rage or anger,” Curtis Steele said.
Reading his profile is somewhat disheartening as it highlights the lack of services being made available to those in his situation.