ELMHURST, Queens — Police on Wednesday launched an investigation after offensive graffiti was discovered scrawled across the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Queens, authorities said.
According to the NYPD, the vandalism was found around 12:45 a.m. at the monument located in Elmhurst Park.
Someone had spray painted swastikas, as well as phrases like “baby killers” and “God sucks (expletive)” on the monument and on the ground where it stands, police said.
Authorities believe the spray painting on the monument wall was an attempt to obscure the 371 names of fallen soldiers from Queens honored by the memorial.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz denounced the vandalism on Twitter Wednesday, saying it is “as abhorrent as it is criminal.”
Katz also shared a video of Parks Department workers on the scene Tuesday cleaning up the extensive graffiti.
Queens City Councilman Robert Holden tweeted that he was “deeply disgusted by this cowardly act of vandalism,” and offered a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was “disgusted” by the vandalism and released a statement.
“The memorial’s desecration with graffiti and hateful symbols, coming just two days after Memorial Day, isn’t just offensive to the memories of those soldiers and their loved ones — it’s antithetical to the moral fiber of our state and our country, and its an insult to all those who stepped up in service of it.”
Cuomo also said he directed the New York State Police to assist in the NYPD’s investigation.
No arrests had been made as of Thursday afternoon.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).