RICHMOND, Va. – On Thursday, Joseph Weindl pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of destruction of property after he was caught spray-painting an “L” on the monument to the president of the Confederacy.
Weindl was caught by police around 10:30 p.m. the same week that national discussion ensued over removing Confederate flags from statehouses in the South.
Police had received a report of vandalism in progress at the Jefferson Davis Monument in the 2500 block of Monument Avenue. A description of the suspect and his vehicle, as provided by a witness and evidence obtained at the scene, led detectives to Weindl.
He was arrested without incident, and provided a full confession to police that he used glow-in-the-dark spray paint to draw the letter ‘L,’ for loser, in what his attorney said was Weindl’s misguided attempt to highlight the ongoing discussions involving Confederate relics in the days after the tragic massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
“I am sorry for what I did, and I am going to pay for it,” Weindl said Thursday, as he thanked the prosecutor for their “fairness” and being “reasonable.”
He also thanked his friends and family for their support during this “horrible ordeal” that he got himself into.
“A lot of people are really angry at me right now, and that’s understandable, but yes, I have had a lot of friends show me a lot of support,” he said. “Because I’m not a bad guy and I’m not trying to destroy that monument.”
Judge Cheek sentenced Weindl to 90 days in jail, with all suspended, subject to three years good behavior. He won’t serve any jail time, but he does have to pay $200 restitution. Additionally he must perform 100 hours of community service, over the next four months, which he will do through city cleanup.
Weindl has denied vandalizing the monument the previous night, when the phrase “Black Lives Matter” was spray-painted on the granite base of the monument.
That investigation remains open.
Anyone with information about either case is asked to call Property Crimes Detective William Cutshall at (804) 646-1068 or Crime Stoppers at 780-1000. Citizens can also text Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the key word “ITip” followed by your tip. Both Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.