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Three Arrested and Charged for Vandalism of Columbus Statue

Three people were arrested last Saturday when they were accused of using paint to vandalize the newly added wooden casing surrounding the historic statue of Christopher Columbus in Rhode Island.

Just before the weekend, the statue of Christopher Columbus that sits in Columbus Square in the city of Providence was housed in a plywood container.

It was reported that the structure was constructed to protect the statue during an upcoming project involving machinery deemed a risk to the effigy, in addition to taking precautions against possible vandals during the recent protests.

Early in the morning on Saturday, Providence Police Department officers were in the vicinity keeping an eye on the area when they reportedly saw a vehicle without its headlights on as it slowly rolled around the blocks near where the statue stands.

The police officers noted that it appeared as if the car contained the driver and two passengers.

Within minutes of allegedly seeing the vehicle, the police said they saw two people sprinting in the direction of the statue, and it looked like they were holding items in their hands.

The people allegedly threw something in the direction of the boards around the statue before fleeing.

After the authorities trailed and caught up to the pair, and they were identified as Derrick W. Garforth, 34, a social studies teacher at Jenks, and Charlotte Whittingham, 28.

The two were placed under arrest for their purported involvement in possibly tampering with the statue.

Officers reportedly spotted a car matching the one they believed was driving without headlights just before the alleged incident at the statue, and they made contact with the driver to see if they had a connection to the situation.

The driver was identified as 26-year-old Mackenzie Innis, and when officers looked around inside the vehicle they reportedly saw white and purple paint, many masks, and rubber gloves.

Innis was arrested, and all three suspects are facing charges for suspicion of desecration of a grave or monument, and conspiracy. They were all released following their arraignments.

If you or someone you love is suspected of a crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.

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