Vandalized Vietnam War memorial in Boston repaired in just 24 hours; suspect arrested

BOSTON (WCVB/CNN) - Volunteers and local businesses pulled together to reverse thousands of dollars in damage the day after police say a male suspect desecrated a Vietnam War monument in a Boston neighborhood.

Massachusetts State Police took a 33-year-old man into custody Saturday morning in relation to the vandalism. The damage included shrubbery ripped up, American flags thrown in the creek and hateful messages and swastikas drawn on the monument itself.

The suspect, who was caught on camera, has not been identified because he’s being evaluated for mental health issues. He is expected to be charged with tagging and offenses of malicious destruction of property over $250.

Even before the man was arrested, the damage he allegedly did to the memorial was reversed, thanks to money and labor donated by volunteers and local businesses.

Gov. Charlie Baker laid a wreath at the site in order to pay his respects.

"For the bad act of one or two or three or a handful of people, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people who will do whatever they can to respond positively,” Baker said.

Police say the suspect has a prior default warrant for a previous larceny of an American flag and a state flag from the University of Massachusetts Boston campus.

The university owns and maintains the vandalized memorial.

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