Posted: Sep 11, 2013 9:32 PM by Alex Labat
Updated: Sep 11, 2013 9:44 PM
Tonight, a case of vandalism in Lafayette has Acadiana talking, and the suspect is behind bars.
Lafayette Police arresting 35-year-old Salvador Perez, who is facing charges of Criminal Damage to a Historic Building or Landmark, and Criminal Trespassing.
If convicted, Perez could face a fine up to $1,000 and spend up to two years behind bars.
This is what he's accused of doing at the monument, putting two cardboard planes on the beams from the Twin Towers.
There was also a cardboard cutout of former president George W. Bush, holding money and what appears to be a remote.
On a nearby building, a drawing of a sniper.
On a somber anniversary, when those in Lafayette should be coming together to remember the horrific attack on our country 12 years ago, today, people in downtown Lafayette gathered for a different reason.
"This morning we got information that the monument which represents that 9/11 event, was defaced by two airplanes being attached to the two beams that we have at our monument here in Lafayette", says Corporal Paul Mouton with the Lafayette Police Department.
It was this vandalism of the memorial by suspect Salvador Perez, which had members of the community outraged.
"I just don't know what they were thinking to do something like that", says Wanda Cormier. Madison Reviere says, "This is just crazy. I don't see why you would even put up with the work and actually climb and do this."
While this morning's vandalism was a shock to many, Lafayette Police were quick to respond, working to take down the "art", and the artist.
"It represents those lost lives and us remembering that even so that they're never forgotten. And for someone to deface that, to me that's pretty horrific", says Mouton.
Alton Trahan with the Lafayette Fire Department says, "When the fire chief first learned of it this morning, he was truly, truly saddened by it."
The metal comes from the beams of the World Trade Center, the limestone from the Pentagon, and the dirt from Pennsylvania.
"Fire service is truly a brotherhood, so when you lose individuals or your fellow firefighters in any type of tragedy, let alone September the 11th...you can't forget that", says Trahan.
When it comes to what some say was a senseless act, the words of then President George W. Bush ring as true this September 11th, as they did over a decade ago when he said, "Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.
These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."
The N.W.O. That was painted on the tail of one of the planes if believed to be in reference to the "New World Order".
A Pyramid with an eye on top, was painted on the other plane, it's also used to represent the "New World Order".
Those who believe in the "New World Order Conspiracy" believe that the 9/11 attacks were not an act of terrorism, but were engineered by the United States government.