A teenager accused of vandalizing a stone memorial commemorating Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy has been arrested. The stone memorial, a centerpiece at a park in Murphy’s home town, was destroyed by the 14-year-old in a senseless act of vandalism. Now the boy faces charges of criminal mischief.
Suffolk County Police arrested the boy early Friday morning. His name hasn’t been released, and he will be arraigned to Family Court in New York.
The park in Lake Ronkonkoma is named after Murphy and serves as a memorial to his service. “Lieutenant Murphy was a native of Patchogue, Long Island,” Breitbart writes. “He served as a Navy SEAL until he was killed on June 28, 2005, in a battle between his 4-man team and over 30 Afgani fighters. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor—the first member of the Navy to receive it since the Vietnam War.”
“Michael was the type of person who would have wanted to take that man under his wing and talk to him,” Daniel Murphy, Lt. Murphy’s father, told Fox, “and express and explain to him the significance of his actions.”
Authorities removed the damaged memorial Friday.
“I am appalled and disgusted by this apparent act of vandalism,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “The people of this state and this nation owe Lieutenant Murphy a debt of gratitude, and I personally thank him for his service.”
“People say it’s a troubled world and everything, but honestly, one person makes it tragic and then a whole community tries to fix it up,” Maureen Murphy, Lt. Murphy’s mom, told reporters.
Lone Survivor author Marcus Lutrell served with Murphy. He told reporters that the kid is a “coward.”
Many are looking for ways to donate money to an effort to replace the plaque. The Governor, though, is not accepting donations. The park, he says, will be restored and the state will pay for the restorations.
“The people of this state and this nation owe Lt. Murphy a debt of gratitude, and I personally thank him for his service,” he said.