RALEIGH, N.C. — Authorities say an apparent mob of vandals caused some smoke damage inside of North Carolina Republican Party headquarters on Hillsborough Street late Friday night.
The incident happened at about 11:15 p.m.
The building also had some broken windows, posters with political messages scattered around and vulgar words spraypainted on the walls.
The sign in front of the building was shattered and sprayed with graffiti.
It also appeared that the vandals intended to burn down the building. Police said they found Roman candles and wooden devices they believe could be used to start a fire.
Raleigh Police Captain D.S. Overman said an officer reported earlier in the night that about 100 people wearing masks and gloves were walking down a street near the headquarters.
Investigators at the scene found a partially burned, two-headed effigy in military fatigues. One head had the face of President George W. Bush and the other the face of his failed Democratic challenger John Kerry.
"This isn't an assault on the Republican Party. This is an assault on democracy," said Bill Peaslee of the North Carolina Republican Party.
Police spokesman Jim Sughrue said several people were detained early Saturday, but no charges had been filed.
The nearby BB&T bank on Oberlin Road was also damaged.