Felony charges dropped for suspects in Columbus statue vandalism

Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The felony charge has been dropped against the three people arrested for vandalizing the Christopher Columbus statue in Providence earlier this summer, according to the Attorney General’s (AG) office.

In June, 34-year-old Derrick Garforth, 28-year-old Charlotte Whittingham and 26-year-old Mackenzie Innis were arrested for allegedly throwing paint on the boards that covered the Columbus statue.

The statue had been covered and fenced off after vandals threatened to tear it down. The statue was removed from the Elmwood neighborhood soon after the incident.

Garforth was put on leave from Jenks Middle School in Pawtucket, where he taught social studies, pending an investigation.

The initial charge, made by the Providence Police Department, was a felony offense in violation of desecration of a monument.

The AG’s office says they reviewed the charge and determined that it was not within the scope of the felony charge, but the misdemeanor charge of damaging public property may still be valid.

The felony charge has been dismissed and now is in the hands of the City of Providence for consideration of the misdemeanor charges, according to the AG’s office.

The fate of the statue is still unknown at this time.

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Providence

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