PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A memorial dedicated to a soldier who never made it home during World War I has been defaced, and Providence police are now looking for who’s responsible.
The monument to Carlo LaFazia stood at the busy intersection of Douglas Avenue and Admiral Street, which is in the jurisdiction of Ward 14 City Councilman David Salvatore.
“This behavior is not going to be tolerated in the city of Providence, especially when we’re disrespecting our fallen soldiers who fought for the freedoms that we enjoyed today,” he said. “Any time our veterans or fallen soldiers are disrespected in this way, it certainly shines a light on a lot of the misbehavior that’s happening in our city.”
LaFazia served in the 16th Infantry Regiment 1st Division until his death in 1918 while serving his country.
“He was killed in action, and I think we owe it to him and his family to make sure that this monument is put back in place,” Salvatore said.
The monument was first dedicated in 1933, then rededicated in 2017 after the original went missing.
Salvatore said at first, he thought someone had hit the monument with a vehicle, but further investigation revealed otherwise.
“It’s clear and evident that somebody tipped this monument over and possibly took an object to it as well,” he said.
“I would suspect that it was multiple individuals,” Salvatore added. “This is a heavy piece of granite. I don’t think a single person could have done it alone.”
Salvatore is offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
“If they can come forward, contact Col. Clements’ office directly or contact the detectives’ bureau,” Salvatore said. “I would like to get to the bottom of this, and like I said earlier, get this rectified sooner rather than later.”
Anyone with information can contact Providence police at (401) 272-3121.