Video shows two men who vandalized Arthur Ashe Mural in 2021

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 10:31 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Almost a year after the Arthur Ashe mural in Battery Park was vandalized, new videos have surfaced online of the men who did it.

Videos posted by the independent media collective, Unicorn Riot, show two men heading into the Arthur Ashe Mural Tunnel and begin to spray paint over the timeline of Ashe’s life and later on his face.

Chris Schiano, a journalist with Unicorn Riot, said the two men were a part of a group called Patriot Front, and his team was able to obtain the videos from sources inside the group.

According to the Sothern Poverty Law Center, Patriot Front is a white nationalist hate group that broke off from Vanguard America after the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017.

As Richmonders watched the video on Tuesday, they said they couldn’t help to think about how much the two men who vandalized the mural failed.

“Think about the effort they went through that they could just put that to productive use somewhere,” Lloyd Arnold, with the Richmond Metro Tennis Club, said.

Arnold said he could remember when the mural was first revealed in 2017.

He said Arthur Ashe was one of his heroes growing up, and what the two men did back in October 2021 never changed that.

“They failed to break the spirit, and they spend a lot of time on nothing,” Arnold said.

The mural was restored in May this year, but Arnold said it did not stop him from playing in the park Ashe played.

“I enjoy playing down here. It’s fun, all the socializing with my friends and other tennis players and meeting them, they’re not going to stop us,” Arnold said.

In regards to the video, a spokesperson for the department said:

The Richmond Police Department said an arrest has yet to be made for the vandalism but some hope that changes with this new evidence.

“Oh, we would love to see them arrested. If you do the crime, you should do the time,” Arnold said.