Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Christine Emerson
Observer Staff Writer 

Second Tagger, "Pheb", Charged with defacing Venice Vietnam Memorial Wall

Accused of vandalizing the POW memorial wall on Sunset Avenue in Venice on May 26, right before the Memorial Day weekend.

 

October 24, 2016

Medina and the first suspect charged, Angel Castro, 24, are accused of vandalizing the POW memorial wall on the 100 block of Sunset Avenue in Venice on May 26, right before the Memorial Day weekend.

Today a second suspect was charged with defacing the Vietnam War Veteran's Memorial in Venice. Luis Daniel Median, 20, aka "Pheb," was charged with one felony count of vandalism over $400 damage with graffiti and one misdemeanor count of possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti.

Medina and the first suspect charged, Angel Castro, 24, are accused of vandalizing the POW memorial wall on the 100 block of Sunset Avenue in Venice on May 26, right before the Memorial Day weekend.

Medina and the first suspect charged, Angel Castro, 24, are accused of vandalizing the POW memorial wall on the 100 block of Sunset Avenue in Venice on May 26, right before the Memorial Day weekend.

The wall has become an icon for the Venice and West Los Angeles neighborhoods regarding the service and sacrifice given to the United States by those in the armed services. The mural bears the title "You Are Not Forgotten" and lists the names of 2,273 soldiers who are counted as either prisoners of war or missing in action from the Vietnam War. It was painted in 1992 by artist Peter Stewart, who was inspired by a welcoming parade for Operation Desert Storm veterans.

The graffiti damage to the memorial mural stretched about 100 feet. "We were initially hopeful that the graffiti could be removed without damaging the memorial, but Metro's contractor says the damage e is too extensive," reported Metro CEO Phil Washington. The mural is painted on the side of a Metro building. Washington's statement went to explain that the transit authority would "work with the community to gather historical photos so the wall can be restored."

Castro was arrested on July 13 after the vandalism.

If convicted, Medina could face more than three years in jail. Castro, with additional robbery conviction from 2015, could have to serve as much as six years in state prison.

 

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