Los Angeles

Man Arrested in Connection With Vandalized Veterans Memorial in Venice

A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the defacement of a Venice mural dedicated to POWs and troops missing in action during the Vietnam War, officials said.

Angel Castro was taken into custody on Wednesday in the Exposition Park area of Los Angeles after detectives put out a warrant for his arrest, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Castro, who uses the moniker "LITER," was one of the four alleged people identified earlier this month accused of painting graffiti over a Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall just before Memorial Day this year. Detectives said Castro admitted to his role in the vandalism.

Vandals sprayed a thick sheen of silver paint over most of the 2,273 names of Vietnam veterans on the memorial near the rear of a Metropolitan Transit Authority property on Pacific Avenue near Sunset Court.

The mural, painted in the early 1990s, has a message at the top reading "You Are Not Forgotten" and bears the names of the soldiers counted as prisoners of war or missing in action in Vietnam.

The vandalism occurred just as the nation was getting ready to observe Memorial Day in honor of fallen soldiers and inspired scores of veterans — some from as far as Arizona — to clean up the spray-painted mess ahead of the holiday.

Castro was booked on suspicion of felony vandalism and is being held in lieu of $95,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned later this week.

Sheriff's officials continue to seek additional information on suspects with the monikers "PHEB," "NONER," and "SNAKE" who are believed to be connected with the tagging.

A reward for information was offered in the case.

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