Some of those who are upset with the state of the country take a knee during the anthem. Others take their grass-roots efforts to the streets and run for political office. To each his own. Yet when one miscreant desecrated the Vietnam Memorial, he went too far.
24-year-old Angel Castro was taken into custody by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on suspicion of felony vandalism after he admitted that he was responsible for spray-painting on the memorial.
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Castro was arrested on Wednesday when his tag (spray-painted on the face of a Vietnam War in Venice.) was linked with him. The vandalism had occurred just before Memorial Day. Images of the graffiti went viral.
Castro goes by the moniker “Liter.” One draw back of tagging–an act psychologists equate with was a marking of territory–is that tags are by their very nature meant to establish a form of ownership. When Liter signed his work, he made it easy for detectives to locate him.
Now he’s being held in prison, with a bail set at $95,000. There are three others associated with the crime. Investigators are still looking for “Pheb,” “Noner” and “Snake.”It is unclear yet if “Liter” is prepared to cooperate with authorities.
The vandalism was uniformly condemned by those in the community. While the Vietnam War caused significant divisions, and sparked countless protests, the memorial of the war’s dead has remained largely free of controversy.
After the memorial was vandalized, volunteers came together to scrub the graffiti off. The painting, created by artist Peter Stewart, has been a landmark in the community since it was painted in 1992.
The project was a fundraiser meant to assist the Vietnam Veterans Aid Foundation. The restoration of the mural is ongoing.
“It’s like a direct attack,” Venice resident Stewart Oscars said. “If you have any sense of history, you’d never do this.”