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Vandals spray black paint over Veterans Park memorials

Police investigating defacement of World War II, Vietnam memorials

The World War II monument at Veterans Park in Albany was defaced most likely Friday night by vandals with black spray paint. Albany police responded to the scene Saturday around 3 p.m. (Staff photo: Jim West)

The World War II monument at Veterans Park in Albany was defaced most likely Friday night by vandals with black spray paint. Albany police responded to the scene Saturday around 3 p.m. (Staff photo: Jim West)

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Albany police questioned people in the area around Veterans Park Saturday afternoon after discovering graffiti on monuments in the park. (Staff Photo: Jim West)

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A monument honoring Spec. 4 James Worthy of Albany, who was the only local casualty of the first Gulf War, was also defaced by vandals. (Staff Photo: Jim West)

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The apparent lid to an empty spray paint can was discovered at the base of the Vietnam War Memorial in Albany’s Veterans Park, one of three monuments defaced by vandals. (Staff Photo: Jim West)

ALBANY — Vandals used a can of black spray paint to deface the World War II and Vietnam War monuments and the memorial dedicated to Spc. 4 James Worthy in Veterans Park, Albany police discovered Saturday afternoon.

Albany Police Department Lt. Tony Moore and other officers responded to the park around 3 p.m. after receiving a call about the graffiti. The officers found an empty paint can near the World War II memorial and the apparent lid to the can at the base of the Vietnam memorial.

“With all the things these young people have to do here, they spend their time doing this,” Moore said as he surveyed the graffiti. “We’ll investigate the scene and hopefully look at video footage to see if we can determine who might have done this. We’d like to ask anyone who has any information about this crime to contact the department (at 229-431-2100).”

Defacement of the monuments is likely to put a damper on Monday’s planned Memorial Day celebration in the community.

“This is sickening,” said Ward III Albany City Commissioner B.J. Fletcher, who was working at the nearby Hilton Garden Inn and called police when she saw the graffiti. “I hope that we’re able to catch the thugs responsible and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. Hopefully, this is one time that having security cameras around the city will pay off.”

Fletcher said a reward of more than $1,000 had been offered previously when the memorial was defaced, but that no one had come forward with information.