For the second time this year, somebody vandalized the famous Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue. Neighbors tell NBC12, they're tired of vandals targeting a piece of Richmond's history.
Hundreds of cars travel around the Lee Monument every day and on this holiday weekend, the words "Beef Cake" stood out for all to see. A Capitol police officer saw the message while on patrol Sunday morning.
As word spread of the vandalism, the group Virginia Flaggers gathered. Group members say they want to honor their ancestors who fought during the civil war.
"It's sad to see any monument representing a confederate or a union veteran defaced. In fact Robert E. Lee spent 47 years in the United States Army," said Barry Isenhour, a flagger.
Aaron Goldberg says graffiti is something he sometimes sees along the famous avenue.
"It's one thing to tag a street sign in an alley, or a garbage can, but that's a treasure of the city," he said.
Capitol Police say vandals frequently target the Lee Monument. In January, somebody tagged "Five-O" on the side, similar graffiti was found on another part of Broad Street. In 2011, ‘No Hero' was spray painted on both the base of Lee's statue and the statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis.
Officers say no arrests have been made in any of the cases, but say police check on the monument several times a day.
The Virginia Flaggers say they don't have any anger towards the vandal, just pity.
"That's sad because that means that whoever has been defacing it has not been taught American history. And that's the sad part," said Isenhour.
Capitol police are now investigating. If you know anything that could help them, you can call them at 786-4357. Investigators say this vandalism case is a misdemeanor, but convicted could face up to year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
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