For years, those traveling through Waterbury could spot the Holy Land cross, towering high above the Brass City.
Now police are investigating after someone vandalized the cross, using graffiti to write a vulgar term.
"When I came home last night, I saw the green at the bottom of the cross, it really sticks out and shows,” said Bill Fitzpatrick, who was upset to see the graffiti, which can be seen from the highway, and from neighborhoods near the park.
Fitzpatrick is the volunteer coordinator with Holy Land. The graffiti was noticed on Monday, and Fitzpatrick said vandals tagged both sides of the cross, including some stars, a pentagram, and some expletives.
"This will come off right away and we're not going to give into them, and I contend it’s just a few people, few kids, nothing to do, come up with a couple of cans of spray paint and I’m confident we're going to get them this time,” Fitzpatrick said.
It has happened before, and Fitzpatrick said previously, someone had smashed two stone angel statues.
Most recently, along with the cross, vandals, ripped up a tree that was planted as part of an eagle scout project, and broke a stone bench.
“That just got broken between Sunday and Monday, and the statues were probably a couple days after he finished the project, they came up and knocked them and you can see the stones where they busted the statues,” Fitzpatrick said.
Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary and a local businessman bought Holy Land in 2013.
They put up a new cross that lights up, and volunteers have been cleaning and repairing the park, bit by bit.
While the latest vandalism is frustrating, Fitzpatrick says they won’t let the acts of a few ruin it for everyone.
He says adding cameras up towards the cross is something they'll consider.
“Right now they're coming in from Stone Street and Bergen Street entrances, the front one, there are 7 cameras down there and most people don't come up that way, because the signs are very intimidating. We'll put a sign on those two entrances and hopefully that will take care of it,” Fitzpatrick said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Waterbury police.
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