Law enforcers team up to catch Sept. 11 statue vandals

Police and federal agents are investigating a case of vandalism in Freehold Township that hits close to home.

Authorities say the front of a sculpture dedicated to police officers killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was smashed to pieces. The 4,000-pound sculpture was still in the artist?s studio, not yet on display near the PNC Bank Arts Center.

Police say the act occurred late Friday or early Saturday. They say the vandals only struck the memorial sculpture, which depicts a police officer, and left other statues alone. It took the artist nearly eight years to carve the sculpture, according to police.

?Clearly it's someone that's anti-police, anti-American and didn't see what 9/11 was all about,? says retired federal agent Joe Occhipinti.

The National Police Defense Foundation is offering a $5,000 reward for any information. A team of retired federal agents, state troopers and police chiefs is volunteering time to find the vandals.

Vandalism hotline - 888-SAFE-COP or 888-723-3267

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