A teenage boy in New York has been arrested for allegedly vandalizing the memorial of a fallen Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient.
Suffolk County Police arrested the 14-year-old boy in his home in the early hours of Friday morning after a phone call about the vandalized memorial, Fox News reported.
Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Park in Lake Ronkonkoma was “vandalized” according to authorities in New York who posted a photo of the shattered granite stone with an image of the fallen SEAL, who died in combat in Afghanistan in 2005.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was “appalled and disgusted” by the act and promised that the state would pay to replace the damaged plaque.
I am appalled and disgusted by this apparent act of vandalism. The State of New York will fully fund the replacement of the plaque, and I hope this brings comfort to his family and community. https://t.co/s8ksaNvCzg
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 20, 2018
“When I saw that, I felt like I lost him again,” Murphy’s mother, Maureen, said, according to News12.
“All I can say is that Michael was the type of person who would have wanted to take that young man under his wing and talk to him, and explain to him the significance of his actions,” said Daniel Murphy, the SEAL’s father.
“He destroyed, for us, a part of our son,” he said. “One of the places where he struck Michael was right in the heart.”
Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine promised security would be stepped up at the park, which was dedicated in 2009 to the fallen hero who was once a lifeguard there.
Murphy was killed on June 28, 2005 while conducting “a reconnaissance mission” in Afghanistan, ambushed along with other members of his SEAL team while they were “scouting” a well-known terrorist.
“Despite the intensity of the firefight and suffering grave gunshot wounds himself, Murphy is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates,” his Summary of Action read.
Marcus Luttrell, the only surviving member of the team who recounted the operation in his 2007 book, “Lone Survivor,” shamed the “coward” who had vandalized the memorial in a tweet on Thursday.
— Marcus Luttrell (@MarcusLuttrell) July 20, 2018
The Long Island community was outraged by the vandalism, wondering like Legislator Tom Muratore, “Why would somebody want to do something like that?”
“I really could not believe that somebody would do something that disrespectful to a fallen hero,” Evelyn Vollgraff told News12.
“There’s no words to express the outrage that veterans feel about desecrating a veteran’s monument,” George Stondell, the commander of AMVETS Department of New York said of Murphy, “a local hero” who had received a Purple Heart.
The teen suspect was charged with second-degree criminal mischief and will be arraigned in family court at a later date.
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