Early Friday morning, a surveillance camera caught a person using their hands to smear white paint on Coney Island’s Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance, which was the first official September 11 memorial erected in New York. The vandalism was focused on three portraits of first responders who were killed in the attacks, including that of Moira Smith, the only female NYPD officer to have died that day. (The memorial includes the names and images of 346 firefighters, 37 Port Authority officers, 23 members of the NYPD, and a K-9 dog.)
On Saturday, CBS 2 reported that 58-year-old Elliot Baez had been arrested and charged with criminal mischief for defacing the wall. (According to NBC New York, Baez is homeless.) “This is extremely personal,” said City Councilman Mark Treyger, who represents the area, before the arrest was made. “Whoever could have done this is just not well.