FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Police in Fall River are investigating after the Veterans Memorial Bicentennial Park was vandalized.
The vandalism happened sometime between Sunday and Monday, according to Fall River Deputy Police Chief Barden Castro.
The vandal tagged the pavement underneath a bench with black spray paint. The bench sits across from the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall, which was dedicated just last year.
“It’s not like I didn’t expect this to happen, but you can’t prepare for it,” said Joseph Marshall, president of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall Committee.
Luckily, none of the memorials were damaged, which Marshall is grateful for.
But the vandalism happening so close to the wall leaves him concerned. He said it’s the first of its kind in the region and is an 80% replica of “The Wall That Heals” in Washington, D.C.
“It’s 360 feet long, it’s 8 feet high, it’s the focal point of the park,” he said. “There’s two benches. It’s where people stop to reflect on the people on the wall.”
Detectives assigned to the Major Crimes Division are currently pouring through surveillance video in an attempt to identify a suspect. There are 13 security cameras located throughout the park.
“My first thought was … this is our chance to make a statement. We are not gonna stand for this,” Marshall said.
It’s less about finding who’s responsible, he added, and more about asking why and making it clear that this won’t be tolerated.
“I’d like to know why and I’m sure it won’t be a good reason. But, tell your friends not to do it,” Marshall said, addressing the suspect. “Just don’t do it. I’m disappointed I guess, more than angry.”