Vandalism targets pair of Christopher Columbus statues

Posted: Updated:
GARFIELD -

Police are looking for the vandal or vandals who recently targeted two statues of Christopher Columbus in Bergen County.

One statue of the controversial explorer was doused in red paint at Dahnert's Lake County Park in Garfield.

A second statue about a quarter-mile away, at Columbus Field City Park, was vandalized with spray paint. That statue had been re-dedicated by the city a few months ago.

Some feel that Columbus has a legacy that symbolizes slavery and genocide. In the past few months, there have been numerous discussions around Columbus statues and monuments in parks across the tri-state area concerning whether they should be removed.

Garfield's mayor suspects the vandals are from outside of the area because he said he's never received any requests from residents to remove the monuments. He's hoping one of the many cameras throughout the parks will lead them to the perpetrator.

Garfield residents had mixed reactions to the vandalism in their area. Some said it was "ridiculous," or "trying to drive a wedge" in the town, while others said they understood the controversy surrounding the historical figure.

Resident Julio Quiles and his brother, Wilfredo, grabbed some paint remover and spent part of Sunday afternoon trying to clean up the monument. The veterans said they have nothing against freedom of speech, but felt that it was not appropriate.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Your Oct. 16 storm photos

    Your Oct. 16 storm photos

    Storm photos Oct. 17Storm photos Oct. 17
    Storm photos Oct. 17Storm photos Oct. 17
    Heavy right and high winds swept through the tri-state area due to a large coast storm on the night of Oct. 16. Here are your photos from the storm.
    Heavy right and high winds swept through the tri-state area due to a large coast storm on the night of Oct. 16. Here are your photos from the storm.
  • Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
  • Guide: New Jersey Breweries

    Guide: New Jersey Breweries

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the state for beer-lovers to visit. Check out our list for breweries in your area. 

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the state for beer-lovers to visit. Check out our list for breweries in your area. 

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."