WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -- Following protests this past week surrounding a Christopher Columbus statue in Waterbury, residents woke up Saturday morning to see it having been beheaded.

An eyewitness shared images of the statue Saturday morning with Channel 3, however it is unclear when the vandalism actually happened.

Waterbury police said they are investigating a criminal mischief complaint involving the Columbus statue. They said this is an open investigation. 

Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary released a statement on the incident Saturday evening: 

“I am deeply disappointed and disturbed by the destruction inflicted upon the Christopher Columbus statue today. The City of Waterbury, and I as Mayor, are deeply committed to taking action to address the impact and inequities caused by systemic racism. However, this type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

The statue stands outside Waterbury City Hall on Grand Street, and has been a focal point of protesters looking to have it removed this past week.

On the other side, there are folks who want to see the statue stay, saying Christopher Columbus represents Italian heritage and their contributions to the country. They also said this past week that they support Black Lives Matter movement, but they want to work together to come up with another solution.

One part of a petition that is circulating calls for the statue to be put into a museum.

Protesters looking to remove the statue are also calling for the city to recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day. They want to have an open forum with city leaders about the holiday.

Anyone with information on the vandalism should call Waterbury police at (203) 574-6941 or Crime Stoppers at (203)755-1234.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Locations

Recommended for you

(6) comments

Brian C. Duffy

Erect a statue of Leif Erickson. Historically accurate and the Icelandic-American community will be proud.

Brian Duffy ~~ Tariffville, CT

xcuseme

Destroy America??!! REALLY! You obviously don't KNOW the history of America. People who are upset about tearing down statues of people who were ruthless, mean and just plain awful for fear of what??...to take apart what happened in history. Those of us who remember history will never forget. What needs to be taught is the CORRECT history and NO LIES!

FOOLS you say CTYankee are those.....(blah blah blah). I bet if there was a statue of Hitler you'd say " don't mess with it because he was a part of history". We are NOT suppose to be honoring MEN anyway.

And Mike (with your 'leftist' remarks)...you need to take a course in history. I don't think you know your left from your right.

All of you need to just take a moment and SHUT UP and just listen for a change. That's why we need CHANGE...because history CANNOT REPEAT itself.

Plain and Simple!!!

CTYankee

I didn't say not to remove the statues. I don't agree with tearing them down. Fools have torn down statues of Frederick Douglass. They don't even know who they are tearing down or why. You don't like a statue you go thru the process of petitioning to remove it.

Yes, the animals who are NOT peacefully protesting are not only destroying America they are killing babies in the very communities they profess to defend. What would you call it?

Connman

I always tell people that don't like what's now going on to vote against those who let it happen, in Nov.

mike6972

The Left always manages to get its way. If legal maneuvers don't work, just break the law. Leftist elected officials will look the other way. No one is ever prosecuted; if anyone is arrested, the rioting changes are "dismissed" by a leftist judge or prosecutor. It's a Marxist revolutionary's dream!

CTYankee

The only fools are those of us who obey the laws. This is what the left counts on as they destroy America.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.