On the 12th anniversary of the tragic terrorist attack of September 11, one man decided to mark the occasion by defacing a Louisiana memorial with offensive graffiti.
The suspect, 35-year-old Salvador Perez, was accused of affixing two cardboard cutouts of planes crashing into the downtown Lafayette 9/11 Memorial, a 1-by-100 scale of both World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The stabilizers on the cartoon planes had an image of the Eye of Providence on one, and the initials NWO (New World Order) on the other, referencing to the theory that the attacks of 9/11 were orchestrated by the American government.
But Perez didn’t stop there. He also set up a cardboard cutout of President George W. Bush with a fistful of cash and a remote control in his hand. And the management of a nearby building told KETK he discovered a cartoon squirrel on the top of his roof pointing a little gun at the memorial.
Police said after they responded to the scene and analyzed the graffiti, they knew it was Perez. According to Lafayette Police Cpl., Paul Mouton, Perez was arrested Wednesday and charged with criminal damage to a historic building and criminal trespassing. He faces up to $1000 in fines and up to two years in jail if convicted.
Just hours after the graffiti incident, seven local firefighters gathered at the memorial to pay tribute and remember their 343 fallen New York comrades.
“It’s a disgrace to the men and women who died that day,” firefighter Grant Venable told The Advocate.
Lafayette Fire Chief Robert Benoit said the defacing artwork dishonored not only New York firefighters, but all emergency responders who were killed.
This isn’t the first time Perez has been arrested. Last June, he was charged with burglary after stealing from a Lowe’s store, though he was not convicted. He also has been charged with various other crimes, including disturbing the peace and resisting arrest.