SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Police arrested a man accused of vandalizing the city’s new 9/11 memorial just before the 18th anniversary of the attacks.
Springfield Police Department spokesman Ryan Walsh told 22News, 59-year-old James Carroll was taken into custody Wednesday night and now faces a charge of defacement of real or personal property.
Walsh said the words “Liars”, “Murder 911 Scam” and “911 Scam” were found etched on the monument’s back panel Sunday morning. After reviewing hours of video, it was determined the vandalism took place at 2:30 a.m. on September 4.
The cost of repairs is unknown at this time.
“It was heartbreaking to see the damage done to this beautiful monument and worth the effort from our Detective Bureau, Officers and Crime Analysts to bring the person responsible for this horrific act to justice.”Acting Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood
“We didn’t have a good facial recognition shot of this subject so we looked for him again in several downtown areas and they did a great job they came up with him walking around downtown and we had a picture that was useable for a lookout,” Clapprood added.
Springfield Police Department’s Crime Analysis Unit had to work day and night to look through 100 hours of video surveillance in order to identify when the vandalism happened.
Riverfront Park visitors were shocked by the vandalism. One retired firefighter told 22News that this hurts first responders everywhere.
“I think it’s a shame that they did this those people helped,” said Kenneth Barton of Palmer. “We had firemen, policemen emergency responders all going in there and they died for us trying to help these people get out.”
The monument was created by Salmon Studios in Florence, they are trying to figure out how to repair it.