WASHINGTON - A man is in custody after vandalizing the Washington Monument with red paint Tuesday night.
FOX 5's Katie Barlow took pictures of the damage Tuesday night. There is paint splashed on the side of the monument with words vulgar painted next to it.
U.S. Park Police issued a statement, saying the area around the monument will be temporarily closed. They said conservators will work on the restoration process and that the investigation is ongoing.
The vandalism was reported around 8 p.m. Tuesday. Officials took 44-year-old Shaun Ray Deaton of Bloomington, Indiana into custody and charged him with trespassing, tampering, and vandalism charges.
National Parks Service Spokesperson Mike Litterst said it could take up to three weeks before the paint can be removed due to the marble surface of the monument.
"It's very similar to the vandalism at the Lincoln Memorial in 2008 when a woman threw green paint at the base of the statue," Litterst said. "Same material, paint on marble is very difficult to remove. Like we expect here – that one took multiple treatments over a couple of weeks. But ultimately it was entirely successful."