New England

Police: Teenager Arrested in Vandalism of New England Holocaust Memorial

A teenager has been arrested after allegedly vandalizing the New England Holocaust Memorial on Monday evening, according to Boston Police.

Officers responded to a call around 6:40 p.m. where they said a 17-year-old boy from Malden was being detained by two bystanders. Witnesses told police the teen was seen throwing what appeared to be a rock at the memorial which then shattered a glass panel.

The teen, who has not been identified, was taken into custody and has been charged with willful and malicious destruction of property. Additional charges may be pending.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said in a statement he was grateful for the quick apprehension of the suspect.

"I’m grateful for the quick response and the community help which led to the swift arrest of the suspect responsible for the damage done to the Holocaust Memorial. Clearly, this type of behavior will not be tolerated in our city. And, in light of the recent events and unrest in Charlottesville, it’s sad to see a young person choose to engage in such senseless and shameful behavior, Evans said.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh quickly took to Twitter to express his disappointment about the vandalism but to praise the Boston Police Department.

This is the second time the Union Street memorial has been damaged this summer.

On June 28, authorities say James Isaac, 21, of Roxbury, used a rock to shatter a roughly 9-foot tall glass panel on one of the memorial's six 54-foot-high towers. Isaac has pleaded not guilty to vandalism charges.

Jeremy Burton, who manages the site from the Jewish Community Relations Council, said he can't believe what happened on Monday.

"I'm shocked, it is frankly the reaction is its unbelievable, that this memorial has stood here un-desecrated for over two decades, that this has now happened twice in one summer. It cannot be a coincidence, regardless who the individuals are who did it in these cases, they may be very different or very similar, I don't want to speculate, it shocking," Burton said.

The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) released a statement on the incident:

"We are appalled and saddened that the New England Holocaust Memorial was vandalized Monday night for the second time in just 6 weeks. The images of Nazis marching in the streets of America over the weekend in Charlottesville and now shattered glass once again at this sacred space in Boston are an affront to our Jewish community and to all those who stand-up against bigotry, hatred and anti-Semitism. We thank the Boston Police and the Public Works Department for their rapid response and for their continuing support during this difficult time. We will remain resilient and will have a timeline for rebuilding the memorial once we have assessed the damage."

The six glass towers are lit internally and etched with millions of numbers that represent tattoos on the arms of many Jews sent to Nazi death camps.

The repaired memorial was rededicated in July.

The motive of Monday's vandalism remains unclear at this time.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us