Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the attribution of a quote from the United States Department of Defense.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Providence police say they have arrested two Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) students for allegedly vandalizing a defense systems manufacturer’s building.
Maggie Weng and Finch Bryant, both 19, were arraigned on charges of vandalism and released on $1,000 personal recognizance.
In bright red letters, the words “kills kids” were found painted on the Textron building on Westminster Street Wednesday morning.
A day prior, the phrase “Free Gaza” was also spray-painted, along with red spots of paint.
Surveillance footage showed Weng and Bryant dressed in all black, used a stencil with red spray paint to vandalize the building, then left in a green Jeep Wrangler.
The police report said investigators used surveillance footage from homes and businesses in the area to follow the Jeep to a parking lot, where they identified Bryant as the owner.
Surveillance video from RISD showed Weng and Bryant entering a dorm holding a can of red spray paint and a stencil with paint residue around the letters.
“RISD is deeply committed to providing a safe and supportive campus environment for our students and we do not tolerate unlawful behavior of any kind, on- or off-campus,” a spokesperson for RISD told 12 News.
“As an educational institution, we hold our students to high expectations of behavior and reserve the option to refer any alleged violation of law to our own internal student conduct process,” the spokesperson continued.
RISD was also vandalized with red paint earlier this week.
On Oct. 21, hundreds of protestors rallied outside the state house in support of Palestine and traveled to Textron’s headquarters.
The company works with the United States Department of Defense, which published a statement Monday saying the U.S. government is currently “focused on getting Israel the military capabilities it needs.”
A spokesperson for Textron said they appreciate the “swift response from the city of Providence.”
“We would especially like to thank the officers and detectives of the Providence Police Department for their work in finding those responsible for the damage to our building, the members of the Downtown Improvement District for their diligence in cleaning the graffiti and the Mayor’s office for coordinating these efforts,” the statement continued.
Providence Mayor Brett Smiley and Providence Police Col. Oscar Perez also released the following joint statement: “We commend the Providence Police Intelligence and Community Response Units that worked hard to investigate this matter fully and efficiently, leading to the arrests of individuals responsible. We want all our residents to know we take these crimes seriously, we understand the impact it has on our residents feeling safe, and our officers will remain vigilant in preventing similar acts that result in further damage across the city.”