Washington Monument Is Back to Normal After Vandalism With Red Paint

A cleaning crew removes red paint from the Washington Monument on Wednesday. (Photo: National Park Service)

By Tcherika Petit-Frere

Howard University News Service

An Indiana man was charged with trespassing, tampering and vandalism for defacing the Washington Monument with profanities in red paint. (Photo: National Park Service)

D.C. residents and tourists had mixed feelings about the vandalism of the Washington Monument, which was marked with red paint and profanities on Tuesday evening but is now open to the public.

“The way that I was raised was that you revere and respect the monument to our country and for someone to do that is highly disrespectful and it shows that people don’t know how to act right,” said David Abrams, a tourist who works in public relations.

The U.S. Park Police arrested a suspect, who has been identified as Shaun Ray Deaton, 44, of Bloomington, Indiana. Deaton is charged with trespassing, tampering and vandalism.

The profanity was quickly removed, according to the National Park Service.

“The process just took about a day; it’s completed at this point,” said Mike Litterst, a public affairs specialist for the National Park Service. “Vandalism at the National Mall is usual. We deal with these things a couple of times a year. Probably the biggest one we had was 2013. Somebody threw green paint on the statue of the Lincoln Memorial. Took about a week.”

It took about a day to remove the red paint and reopen the monument to the public. (Photo: National Park Service)

“If you’re trying to get a message across, it’s going to have to be somewhere that’s going to be seen widely and it’s going to be these types of structures, where you’re going to get that attention,” said a local resident at the National Mall who identified herself only as Daniela..

“It hurts to see someone do that to the Washington Monument,” said Jim Maher, a consultant for Chick-Fil-A. “I don’t know what the reasons were, but it just hurts to see that here on this national treasure.”

Tcherika Petit-Frere is a reporter for HUNewsService.com.