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Arty Thanasoulis from Yonkers talks about discovering the vandalized Christopher Columbus statue at Columbus Park.
Mark Vergari/lohud

Police stated the person wrote obscenities on the statue.

YONKERS – A Bronx man has been accused of writing  obscenities on a Christopher Columbus statue in Yonkers in what police referred to as “an act of spontaneous vandalism.”

Yonkers police stated Paul Martin, 33, was making deliveries within the space when he determined to make use of a everlasting marker to deface the statue at Columbus Memorial Park at fifty nine Park Hill Ave. on Wednesday. It was the second time in recent months that someone was charged with vandalizing the statue.

On Wednesday, officers responded to the park around 10 a.m. when someone told them a man was vandalizing the statue and pedestal. They found Martin and saw an obscentity written on the statue and “The cause of indigenous slavery” among other things written on the pedestal, police said.

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Paul Martin, 33, of the Bronx was arrested in Yonkers on Nov. 15, 2017, and accused of vandalizing a Christopher Columbus statue. (Photo: Yonkers Police Department)

Martin was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal mischief, a felony, and making graffiti, a misdemeanor, police said. He was arraigned in Yonkers City Court and is due back on Nov. 27. He is being held at the Westchester County jail on $5,000 bail.

In September, a Yonkers man was arrested and accused of smashing the statue with a baseball bat and knocking the bust from its pedestal in August. A felony charge of third-degree criminal mischief is pending against Emmanuel Santiago Batista, 27, who is being held at the Westchester County jail. He is due back in Yonkers City Court on Jan. 29.

In October the city restored the bust at the Yonkers park.

Christopher Columbus has been a source of controversy recently amid a growing debate on Confederate monuments and other nods to figures who had ties to slavery.

Other Columbus statues in the region have been vandalized in recent months, including ones in New York City and New Haven, Connecticut. In August, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a 90-day review of “all symbols of hate” on city property, including a statue of Columbus in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle.

Twitter: @MattSpillane

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