updated 12/22/2009 6:29:10 PM ET 2009-12-22T23:29:10

A 69-year-old man is apologizing for defacing the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign, weeks before he faces a judge on a misdemeanor property damage charge.

Joseph Peter Pepitone, Sr., said in an e-mail and interview Tuesday he was "depressed and incoherent" and "not in the right state of mind due to circumstances beyond my control" when he threw paint on the sign on the Las Vegas Strip. A local Fox news crew filmed him in the act.

He says he wanted to demonstrate against a U.S. Senate health care bill, and he thinks he began hallucinating due to medications he took that morning.

Pepitone doesn't have a lawyer and isn't sure whether he'll plead guilty.

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