(WMC) – Security increased at the National Civil Rights Museum after police found a smashed window, a wreath missing, and a man sleeping on a bed in room 308 at the Lorraine Motel.
The break-in call came into police a little after 1 a.m. on Wednesday.
Security officers heard a window break. When they went to investigate, they noticed the windows to rooms 307 and 308 were broken. Both rooms are on the second floor of Lorraine Motel, just a few doors down from the room where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent his final hours.
Officers quickly arrived on scene and found 33-year-old Dexter Anderson lying in a bed, asleep in room 308.
Even after Anderson was arrested, things were not the same at the National Civil Rights Museum.
"We're here to visit and take a tour of the museum," said Danell Green, who is visiting from Birmingham. "To come and see that part and learn more history. To be in the presence of an actual event that took place."
But morning visitors did not get that opportunity.
"They told us we couldn't see the room, but they didn't tell us why," said Anita Dale, who came from Norway.
The room where police say they found Anderson sleeping is part of the King's Last Hour exhibit. The wreath that had gone missing was found leaning against a fence at G.E. Patterson and South 4th Street.
"It is a very special element of our courtyard experience, so we are glad to get that back," said NCRM Director of Administration Tracy Lauritzen Wright.
Wright applauds staff security and Memphis Police Department for quickly responding to the first and only break-in that has happened at the museum since it opened in 1991.
"You know, it's unfortunate that it happened at a place like this. At this place," added Wright.
The only damage to the museum was the broken glass, which crews were able to repair before noon.
Anderson is charged with vandalism over $500 and criminal trespassing. He is being held on a $3,000 bond and is due in court Thursday morning.
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