UPPER WEST SIDE — Two teenagers were arrested and charged with tagging a Civil War memorial with red spray paint in the wee hours of Thursday morning, police said.
Police charged Mike Kushnir, 17, of Hell's Kitchen, and an unidentified 15-year-old girl with multiple counts of felony criminal mischief for defacing the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Monument on Riverside Drive and 89th Street.
The two teens sprayed cannonballs with happy and sad faces wearing sunglasses, adorned the stonework with doodley lines, and scrawled “IN GOD WE DONT [sic] TRUST!” across the stairs, according to photos provided by police.
When police officers Nathaniel Herman and Carmen Ledesma arrived on the scene in response to a 911 call, Kushnir and the girl were still at the 112-year-old monument.
Kushnir tried to get away on his skateboard, but police noticed paint on his board and on the girl’s arm and arrested them, according to the NYPD.
"When responding to a graffiti call, the suspects are usually long gone when you get there,” Herman said. “But this time we got them, literally, red-handed.”
Both were charged with multiple counts of felony criminal mischief, the girl as a juvenile, Kushnir as an adult. They were also separately charged for other graffiti acts. The girl is suspected of tagging a neighborhood mailbox with her initials, and Kushnir is charged with tagging “Trap” on a lamppost with a blue marker.