Two New York City teenagers have been arrested after they were allegedly caught defacing a Civil War monument on the Upper West Side early Thursday, police say.
Two NYPD officers were patrolling near the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Monument on Riverside Drive near West 89th Street around 3:30 a.m. when they got a report of graffiti vandals there, according to police.
The officers spotted the teens, a 17-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, using red spray paint on the 114-year-old memorial, which commemorates Union Army members who served in the Civil War, police said.
The teens were arrested and charged with multiple felony counts of criminal mischief.
Police said the boy, who lives in Hell's Kitchen, was arrested twice earlier this year for subway turnstile jumping, and has other arrests related to breaking property and for shoplifting from a supermarket. He was additionally charged Thursday for scrawling graffiti with a marker on a metal lamppost on the Upper West Side in May.
The girl, who lives near the memorial, was additionally charged with criminal mischief and making graffiti in connection with a March case in which she allegedly tagged a neighborhood mailbox with her initials, police said.
The number of individuals arrested for graffiti through Aug. 24 has risen from 1,042 in 2013 to 1,080 in 2014, an increase of 4 percent, according to the NYPD.
The temple-like Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Monument, which has a pyramidal roof and 12 Corinthian columns, was unveiled on Memorial Day in 1902 and designated a city landmark in 1976.
It was named a state landmark in 2001.