New York City

Yonkers Man, 27, Arrested in Beheading of Columbus Statue

Police say it could have been juveniles or could be fallout from the deadly protests earlier this month in Charlottesville

Police in Yonkers say they've made an arrest in the beheading of a Christopher Columbus statue in a park last month.

A 27-year-old resident, Emmanuel Santiago Batista, was arraigned Monday on a a felony charge of criminal mischief. Attorney information for him wasn't immediately clear.

Police said Batista smashed the bust of Columbus with a baseball bat in a spontaneous act of vandalism. The head to the bronze-colored statue was found discarded next to a plastic bag in Columbus Memorial Park, a mile north of the Bronx.

Resident Pat Gamberdella previously told News 4 he called police when he noticed the head of the statue torn off the morning of Tuesday, August 29. 

“It’s very upsetting that American values have sunken to the level they are today,” Gamberdella said. “It’s unfortunate because I did go up there and I did see it all smashed.”

Recent protests have led to calls for more controversial public tributes to be removed, including a push in New York City to remove the Columbus Circle statue in light of the figure’s oppression of Native Americans.

There have been other vandalisms of Columbus statues in Central Park and in Queens.

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