Teenage anti-Israel protester arrested for vandalizing WWI memorial in NYC

Father turns in 16-year-old son accused of defacing Central Park monument with pro-Palestinian graffiti.

Teenage anti-Israel protester arrested for vandalizing WWI Army memorial in NYC
News 12
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A 16-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with felony criminal mischief after allegedly defacing a World War I memorial in New York City's Central Park earlier this week. The New York Police Department (NYPD) says the teen's father turned him in to authorities on Thursday night.

The suspect, whose identity has not been released due to his age, is accused of spray-painting the word "Gaza" in red across the base of the 107th United States Infantry monument. The memorial, located along Central Park's Upper East Side, depicts seven U.S. Army soldiers bursting through the Hindenburg Line during the Battle of Argonne Forest in 1918.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry condemned the "despicable vandalism" on X, vowing that it "will not be ignored, and will not go unpunished." Daughtry shared images of the arrested teen in handcuffs and surveillance footage allegedly showing him vandalizing the monument on Monday.

According to the New York Post, citing police sources, the suspect is a regular attendee of rallies organized by the anti-Israel group Within Our Lifetime and is a student at Tottenville High School. He has no prior arrests.

The vandalism occurred amid pro-Palestinian protests near Hunter College and the Met Gala on Monday night. Demonstrators reportedly placed stickers on the memorial, spray-painted "Free Gaza," and burned an American flag at the site.

Officials noted that the 107th Infantry memorial is unique in honoring rank-and-file soldiers, rather than high-ranking officers. "This is a [monument] to the Doughboys," said Zachary Iscol, commissioner of the city's Department of Emergency Management, referring to the nickname for troops under General John Pershing's American Expeditionary Forces.

Elsewhere on Monday, protesters also placed a Palestinian flag on a statue honoring Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman near Central Park, prompting NYPD officers to intervene and remove it.

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  • By David Menzies

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