horse-statue-01Police have arrested a man from Near West Side, Chicago for allegedly vandalizing a police memorial statue on Michigan Avenue in Streeterville. 25-year-old Darius Moss was charged with three counts of criminal damage to property.

Authorities were notified of the vandalism late Friday night, when a witness called in to report the incident. The witness told the 911 operator that a person had climbed atop the police horse statue and was damaging it. When police arrived, Moss was still on one of the horse statues. Officers took him into custody without incident, charging him with the three counts previously mentioned.

Moss allegedly broke off the two wings connected to each side of the fiberglass horse. According to the police report, the police memorial statues have signs clearly marked which prohibit trespassing and climbing. Moss told investigators that he climbed on the horse to take pictures, and that any damage done to the horse was accidental. Police obtained video surveillance footage of the memorial site for evidence. It’s unknown at this time whether or not Moss was caught on tape vandalizing the horse statue.

The damaged horse is one of 29 in the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s “Horses for Honor” campaign. The life-size horses honor officers who were killed or critically injured in the line of duty, with the recently vandalized horse honoring  Lt. Patrick McGann, who was killed on July 13, 1977 when responding to a burglary report. The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation plans to auction off the horse statues at the end of the exhibit.

Throughout the duration of the memorial exhibit, police will be selling sponsorships for the various horses. To learn more about the Horses for Honor campaign and how you can sponsor one, visit http://www.cpdmemorial.org/horses-of-honor-campaign/. The campaign will end this December, at which point all of the horses will be auctioned off.

The Horses of Honor is a public art installation in Chicago benefiting the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. This project features lifesize statues of Chicago’s Police Horses that are artistically and individually produced and designed by local Chicago artists. From September until November 2014 these public art pieces will be on display in prominent locations throughout the City, such as Michigan Avenue and the airports, to honor the lives of our fallen heroes of the Chicago Police Department,” wrote the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation on its website.

Police records indicate that Moss’ first court hearing is Monday.

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