Crews cleaned up the vandalism at Christopher Columbus statues in two Connecticut locations on Sunday.
The Christopher Columbus statue at Harbor Park in Middletown and Christopher Columbus statue at Wooster Square in New Haven were vandalized, according to police. Red paint was used in both cases.
New Haven Police Officer David Hartman said they are watching the Christopher Columbus statue at Wooster Square currently. An officer was spotted keep watch at Wooster Square statue for potential suspects.
"There is a big police presence here so just to see that that happened is kind of surprising," said New Haven resident, Michael Stefanczyk. "But, hopefully no more happens."
Eyewitness News spoke with a member of the "Guardian Angels," a New Haven volunteer neighborhood watch group, Keith Pratt, who said police asked him to assist in keeping a look-out.
"If people have problems, call your local politician, do a letter writing campaign, sign a petition to have the statue removed if you don't like it," explained Pratt. "It's still a statue and it represents something. And there's a right way and a wrong way to go about it."
Christopher Columbus statues have been defaced across the country as Columbus Day approaches. The controversy stems from the history behind Columbus's discovery of America, and the treatment of indigenous people.
In Middletown's Harbor Park, another officer dropped by the statue periodically.
"He was kind of the person who brought this country onto the map," said Stefanczyk. "Not the greatest guy in the world, but at the end of the day, I don't personally believe defacing the statue is appropriate."
Now, both Middletown and New Haven Police Departments are upping patrols around the statues. If an arrest is made, the suspect could face a criminal mischief charge.
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