RICHMOND, Va. -- A mural of Arthur Ashe in Richmond's Battery Park has been defaced.
Richmond Police said that on Thursday around 10:42 a.m., they responded to the 2800 block of Dupont Circle to find the defaced mural.
As seen in pictures, Ashe's face was spray-painted over along with symbols saying "Patriot Front". Mayor Levar Stoney said that this is a White Nationalist group.
Stoney shared the following statement on Thursday:
Today, a mural to Richmond’s beloved humanitarian and native son, Arthur Ashe, was found vandalized with the insignia of a white nationalist hate group. Those responsible for this, and other like-minded shameful and cowardly acts, will be held accountable. Let me be clear: Hate will not be tolerated in our city.
Richmond Police Chief Gerald M. Smith also shared a statement on the defacement of the mural:
Hate will not be tolerated in Richmond. We are asking for the public’s help by being another set of eyes on the murals and monuments of Richmond.
The mural was originally created by artist Hamilton Glass as part of a unity program to design street art in Richmond.
Maintenance workers have since covered the graffiti with black paint.
Thursday's reported incident is the second to happen this week following a report of vandalism of a mural on a structure in the 3000 block of Meadowbridge Road, which was defaced with similiar markings.
Police said that they're investigating this as a vandalism and they are asking anyone with information to come forward.
RPD is in coordination with other law enforcement agencies and city departments as the investigation continues.
If you see suspicious activity or have images or video footage that may aid in the investigation, please contact RPD at (804) 646-5100.
The RPD takes investigations of vandalism seriously and if damage from vandalism is $1,000 or more the those esponsible can be charged with a felony.
This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email firstname.lastname@example.org to send a tip.