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Man turns himself in for vandalizing veterans monument in Wallingford

A swastika and the word "die" were spray-painted on the monument.

WALLINGFORD, Conn. — A Vietnam veterans monument in Wallingford has recently been vandalized on multiple occasions with hate speech spray-painted over the names of town residents, who have served our country. 

Wallingford police confirmed Sunday night they have a suspect but have not released additional information as there are no charges. 

The Vietnam veterans monument, in Dutton Park, which includes the names of locals killed in action written in gold, was desecrated with hate speech on two occasions recently. But because the public and public works caught it quickly, most never saw the swastika or the word "die" spray-painted on the monument.

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"It breaks my heart to think that in our sweet wonderful town of Wallingford it could happen, but I guess it could happen anywhere," said Rosemarie Preneta, who lives across the street from the monument.

On a walk with his wife, Joe Spiteri of Wallingford was shocked to hear the news.

"It's horrifying. It's ridiculous is what it is," said Spiteri. "Who would want to do something like that."

This is the second time recently that this monument was defaced.

The previous graffiti included the word "die" on one side of the monument and a depiction of the male genitalia on the other.

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"I mean, I remember years ago when the Klu Klux Klan came and we were all devastated about that but, something like this is just so disrespectful, disrespectful of our veterans, disrespectful of the people that have to see it," said Preneta.

"There's no place for any of that stuff on anything let alone a veterans monument," Spiteri added.

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One Wallingford veteran, who spoke with FOX61 off-camera, said, "This isn't our town. This isn't any town in America and it needs to stop."

Police and the residents, who live around Dutton Park said they will be keeping a close eye on the monument moving forward.

Tony Terzi is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tterzi@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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