Christopher Columbus Statue Beheaded in NYC Suburb - NBC 6 South Florida
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Christopher Columbus Statue Beheaded in NYC Suburb

Police say it could have been juveniles or could be fallout from the deadly protests earlier this month in Charlottesville

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    The head of the celebrated explorer was found discarded next to a bag. Checkey Beckford reports. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017)

    A statue of celebrated explorer Christopher Columbus was found beheaded in a Yonkers park.

    Lifelong resident Pat Gamberdella said he called police when he noticed the head of the statue torn off.

    “It’s very upsetting that American values have sunken to the level they are today,” Gamberdella said. “It’s unfortunate because I did go up there and I did see it all smashed.”

    The head to the bronze-colored statue was found discarded next to a plastic bag in Columbus Memorial Park, a mile north of the Bronx.

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    Yonkers police are investigating the incident and they say it could have been the work of juveniles overnight. They also say there is a possibility it could be fallout from the deadly protests and counter-protests over a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month.

    Those protests have led to calls for more public tributes to be removed, including a push in New York City to remove the Columbus Circle statue in light of the figure’s oppression of Native Americans.

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    “We can’t just desecrate a monument to them just because you don’t like what they did,” Gamberdella said.

    Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino agreed. 

    “The statue craziness is getting absolutely ridiculous and must stop. We are a society of laws, not mob rule,” Astorino said in a statement. 

    One woman believes the statue should have been removed. However, she doesn’t believe it should have been done by vandals.

    She said looking at oppressors every day is a bad reminder.

    “I think it should be taken down, but I don’t think going about it and defacing it is the way to do it,” Chantel Cleckley said. “That just makes the other side angry.”

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