SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Two subjects of interest are being sought in connection with the vandalism of a Confederate monument that happened in downtown Salisbury early Wednesday morning.
Someone splashed paint on “Fame,” the statue in the median of W. Innes Street and Church Street. This marks the second time the Confederate monument has been splashed with paint in the last seven months.
Thursday, police released surveillance of two people walking and a another image of a car. One of the individuals appeared to be carrying something in his left hand.
“If you recognize the vehicle or either of the two individuals, please contact Det J. Easler at 704-638-5225, Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245 or contact Salisbury Police Department by Facebook Messenger,” Salisbury police said.
The paint mainly landed at waist level of the statue that depicts a dead Confederate soldier and what has been variously described as an angel or a muse.
There was also what appeared to be yellow paint on the base of the statue and the street.
“It is regretful when any person or group feels the need to engage in vandalism,” Salisbury Mayor Al Heggins told WBTV. “It’s much more productive to have deliberative discourse. Let’s use our energies and brain power to collaboratively address our differences of opinion regarding Fame.”
Clyde and another volunteer began to clean and remove the paint by mid-morning. Later in the day, William Meng, owner of Prestige Pressure Wash, finished the clean-up job.
Salisbury Police say they are investigating the vandalism and are continuing to check for clues as to the parties responsible.
If caught, those responsible could be charged with a class two misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
“To me, leave the statue alone, it’s not bothering nobody," said downtown artist Joseph Heilig. “That statue is a great statue there, leave it alone, it’s one of the greatest pieces of art work that I’ve seen.”
In August, paint was splashed on the monument.
By mid-morning on August 18, about a dozen volunteers had shown up to start removing the paint from the statue. The owner of Prestige Pressure Washing also came to the site and used his equipment to clean the monument.
“Because I love our hometown and this is part of our hometown," said Prestige owner William Meng. "Whether it was this monument to dead soldiers behind us, or the J.C. Price Post at Livingstone College, or the old courthouse behind you, or anything in Salisbury there’s just not a place for it.”
By early afternoon the paint was gone. No charges were ever filed in that case.