Man arrested after defacing Washington Monument with anti-government message

Washington DC - A man was arrested after he allegedly vandalized the Washington Monument, leaving an anti-government message.

Red paint splashed on the Washington Monument in Washington DC.
Red paint splashed on the Washington Monument in Washington DC.  © NATHAN HOWARD / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

The message was reportedly left in red at the base of the monument on Tuesday night, along with a broad splash of paint next to it.

"Have u been f***ed by this," it read, with an arrow pointing upward to the monument. "Gov says tough s**t," was scrawled below.

The National Park Service (NPS) issued a statement, saying that Shaun Ray Deaton (44) of Bloomington, Indiana, had been arrested for the crime and charged with trespassing, tampering, and vandalism.

Mike Litterst, spokesperson for the NPS, said it may take over three weeks to fully restore the piece of history.

"It's very similar to the vandalism at the Lincoln Memorial in 2008 when a woman threw green paint at the base of the statue," he said. "That one took multiple treatments over a couple of weeks. But ultimately it was entirely successful," he added.

On Wednesday, The Monument Preservation team at the park began work on restoring the monument.

"The top layer of paint is coming off and the pigment that seeped into the stone will be treated with many rounds of cleaning product application," The NPS said in a Tweet.

By Wednesday afternoon, the paint had been removed almost completely.

Cover photo: NATHAN HOWARD / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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