Suspect Arrested For Vandalizing Memorial To Medal Of Honor Recipient

Police have arrested a 14-year-old boy for vandalizing a memorial of Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Michael Murphy.

Brookhaven, NY – Police have arrested a 14-year-old boy for the destruction of a memorial to a fallen Navy SEAL, Medal of Honor recipient Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy.

Police said the teen was arrested at his Ronkonkoma home at about 3 a.m. on Friday morning by detectives from the Suffolk County Police Department’s fourth squad, Newsday reported.

A press release from the Suffolk County police said the boy was charged with second-degree criminal mischief, and that he would be arraigned in family court at a later date.

Police did not release the name of the juvenile they arrested, nor did they release any details about the crime or how investigators had determined who was responsible.

“If Michael was alive, what he would be doing is taking this child under his wing. And saying ‘look do you realize the significance of what this really means? It’s not about me and it’s not about Red Wings. It’s about the monument itself and how it defines the American culture,’” Lt. Murphy’s father, Daniel Murphy, explained at a gathering of friends and supporters in the memorial park on July 20.

“It is a symbol of America and our commitment to the men and women who are on the front lines,” he said.

Daniel Murphy thanked the police for their efforts in finding the vandals, and then announced that the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation would be adding a scholarship for the child of a Suffolk County police officer.

He said he had received calls from all over the world about the vandalism, with offers to help pay for replacing the memorial stone. And he said a local company has offered to donate cameras and a security setup for the new memorial once when it is installed.

The Serenity Plaza centerpiece memorial stone honoring Lt. Murphy and his sacrifice had been shattered into 13 pieces by vandals. The Patchogue native was the first member of the Navy awarded the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War, and the first recipient to have served in Afghanistan.

The stone and surrounding brick and black granite memorial of Serenity Plaza sits on the shore of Lake Ronkonkoma, where Lt. Murphy once worked as a lifeguard and manager, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that the state of New York would pay for the replacement of Lt. Murphy’s vandalized memorial, Newsday reported.

"I am appalled and disgusted by this apparent act of vandalism. The State of New York will fully fund the replacement of the plaque, and I hope this brings comfort to his family and community. The people of this state and this nation owe Lieutenant Murphy a debt of gratitude, and I personally thank him for his service,” the governor said in a statement, according to WABC.

The circular slab featured an etching of the uniformed lieutenant, who was part of a four-man Navy SEAL reconnaissance mission deep behind enemy lines in the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005, according to the Navy’s Medal of Honor website.

The team was scouting Ahmad Shah, the terrorist leader of a guerilla group aligned with the Taliban, when they were spotted by locals.

An estimated 50 enemy combatants attacked the SEALs from three sides, pushing the team further into a deep ravine.

Approximately 45 minutes into the gun battle, the team was pinned down and each member was severely wounded.

“Despite the intensity of the firefight and suffering grave gunshot wounds himself, Murphy is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates,” the Medal of Honor site read. “Murphy, intent on making contact with headquarters, but realizing this would be impossible in the extreme terrain where they were fighting, unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life moved into the open, where he could gain a better position to transmit a call to get help for his men.”

As the enemy continued to fire at him, 29-year-old Lt. Murphy “calmly provided his unit’s location and the size of the enemy force while requesting immediate support for his team,” the military page recounted.

He momentarily dropped the transmitter when a bullet struck him in the back, but Lt. picked it back up, completed his transmission and returned to cover to continue fighting alongside his men until his death.

“By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit and inspirational devotion to his men in the face of certain death, Lt. Murphy was able to relay the position of his unit, an act that ultimately led to the rescue of [Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marcus] Luttrell and the recovery of the remains of the three who were killed in the battle,” the Navy’s Medal of Honor website read.

For his heroic actions, Lt. Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the Sachem Patch reported.

The plaza was dedicated as part of the Navy (SEAL) Lt. Michael Murphy Memorial Park on May 7, 2008, according to the Lake Ronkonkoma Civic Organization.

Comments
No. 1-13
Redragonlady
Redragonlady
Mt Girl 33
Mt Girl 33 said (edited): HERE’s my message to the family court judge who will preside over this case: At 14, the alleged juvenile delinquent is not yet a lost cause. Emphasis on “yet.” So you have two choices. You can let the boy off the hook with a “promise” not to do it again and forgo an opportunity to set him on a productive path in life. Or you can use it as an opportunity to account for his wrongdoing by spending his free time over the next three or four years volunteering in a veterans hospital and getting to know the men & women who have lost limbs and eyes and suffered TBI and PTSD to keep this country free. If at all possible, at some point he needs to meet Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marcus Luttrell. At a bare minimum, he needs to read the account of the firefight that ultimately killed Lt. Murphy and two other SEALs and the loss of the 16-man crew killed when the Chinook helicopter sent to rescue them was shot down, and write a term paper on it for the court. And, while it's terrific that the state of NY intends to pay to replace the memorial, this 14-year-old SHOULD NOT get off the hook financially. Some say his parents should pay for it. That is laughable. Doing so would not teach him the lesson he needs to learn; it will only reinforce his ungrateful behavior and the enabling message that "mommy & daddy will rescue me so I can do whatever I gosh darn well please." For any of this to have an impact on the offender, in addition to giving up his free time volunteering at the veterans hospital, he must get an after-school job to repay an equivalent amount of the cost of the memorial PLUS the cost of the new security cameras to ensure such vandalism does not happen again into the scholarship fund set up in honor of this hero (the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation). He doesn't get to spend his work money on skateboards, video games, cell phones, prom tickets, driving lessons, his own college fund or any of the other things teenagers spend their money on. Every penny goes into that fund until the debt owed is repaid, even if it means he can't afford to get his driver's license or a car until he's 19 or 20 years old. Think of the impact of changing this negative incident into a positive life lesson if a judge imposed such a sentence: • __Accepting personal responsibility for his actions • __Providing restitution to the community that was wronged • __Learning to be contrite and sincere in seeking forgiveness from Lt. Murphy’s family and the broader community • __Learning what the words “gratitude” and “sacrifice” truly mean • __Learning to become a productive member of society rather than a “leech” and a “victim.” • __Learning that there are legitimate ways to protest a “redress of grievances” one might have against any of the institutions present in our society. (Hint: Trampling on the rights of others who find comfort in a war memorial to a war hero by vandalizing said memorial is not a legitimate means of protesting your point against a particular war or war in general.) If all goes according to plan, this boy may even grow up to become a man who mentors other teens and keeps them from careening down the same path of delinquency and anti-social behavior he is currently exhibiting. And this seems to be the approach that Lt. Murphy’s own father believes his son would have wanted per this article • For society’s part, give the kid a second chance once he fulfills his restitution so he doesn’t feel like a loser for the rest of his life. We as a society tend to brand people and pigeon hole them. Think back to the 100s of stupid things you did or said at 14 or 15 or 16…. Even if our own behavior didn’t rise to this level of disrespect when we were his age wouldn’t you agree you’ve matured and it wouldn’t be fair to continue to be judged at 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 as if you had no capacity for personal growth or ability to learn how to be empathic and compassionate beyond the understanding you possessed as a teenager?

BRAVO!!!!! I agree with everything you stated here. What a awesome insight on how to handle this situation. Now if only the Judges will actually think about how to handle this incident to the betterment of this child! Again BRAVO !!!

Mt Girl 33
Mt Girl 33

HERE’s my message to the family court judge who will preside over this case:

At 14, the alleged juvenile delinquent is not yet a lost cause.

Emphasis on “yet.”

So you have two choices. You can let the boy off the hook with a “promise” not to do it again and forgo an opportunity to set him on a productive path in life.

Or you can use it as an opportunity to account for his wrongdoing by spending his free time over the next three or four years volunteering in a veterans hospital and getting to know the men & women who have lost limbs and eyes and suffered TBI and PTSD to keep this country free.

If at all possible, at some point he needs to meet Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SEAL) Marcus Luttrell. At a bare minimum, he needs to read the account of the firefight that ultimately killed Lt. Murphy and two other SEALs and the loss of the 16-man crew killed when the Chinook helicopter sent to rescue them was shot down, and write a term paper on it for the court.

And, while it's terrific that the state of NY intends to pay to replace the memorial, this 14-year-old SHOULD NOT get off the hook financially.

Some say his parents should pay for it. That is laughable. Doing so would not teach him the lesson he needs to learn; it will only reinforce his ungrateful behavior and the enabling message that "mommy & daddy will rescue me so I can do whatever I gosh darn well please."

For any of this to have an impact on the offender, in addition to giving up his free time volunteering at the veterans hospital, he must get an after-school job to repay an equivalent amount of the cost of the memorial PLUS the cost of the new security cameras to ensure such vandalism does not happen again into the scholarship fund set up in honor of this hero (the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation).

He doesn't get to spend his work money on skateboards, video games, cell phones, prom tickets, driving lessons, his own college fund or any of the other things teenagers spend their money on. Every penny goes into that fund until the debt owed is repaid, even if it means he can't afford to get his driver's license or a car until he's 19 or 20 years old. Think of the impact of changing this negative incident into a positive life lesson if a judge imposed such a sentence:

• __Accepting personal responsibility for his actions • __Providing restitution to the community that was wronged • __Learning to be contrite and sincere in seeking forgiveness from Lt. Murphy’s family and the broader community • __Learning what the words “gratitude” and “sacrifice” truly mean • __Learning to become a productive member of society rather than a “leech” and a “victim.” • __Learning that there are legitimate ways to protest a “redress of grievances” one might have against any of the institutions present in our society. (Hint: Trampling on the rights of others who find comfort in a war memorial to a war hero by vandalizing said memorial is not a legitimate means of protesting your point against a particular war or war in general.)

If all goes according to plan, this boy may even grow up to become a man who mentors other teens and keeps them from careening down the same path of delinquency and anti-social behavior he is currently exhibiting.

And this seems to be the approach that Lt. Murphy’s own father believes his son would have wanted per this article

• For society’s part, give the kid a second chance once he fulfills his restitution so he doesn’t feel like a loser for the rest of his life.

We as a society tend to brand people and pigeon hole them. Think back to the 100s of stupid things you did or said at 14 or 15 or 16….

Even if our own behavior didn’t rise to this level of disrespect when we were his age wouldn’t you agree you’ve matured and it wouldn’t be fair to continue to be judged at 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 as if you had no capacity for personal growth or ability to learn how to be empathic and compassionate beyond the understanding you possessed as a teenager?

Celtic Gyrl
Celtic Gyrl

I personally think the kid needs to spend some time with former Navy SEAL Marcus Lutrell to learn a real lesson. The memorial means nothing to this kid. Maybe it would teach him some respect.

Sixpacksack
Sixpacksack

Someone needs to find out the kids name and pay a big bad 14 year old to whoop his ass

MiguelDominguez
MiguelDominguez

@Danimyl, don't let your personal political views fog your thinking. You would have to go to the marginal, insane fringes of the left (let's say Antifa) to find someone who would condone this behaviour, but if you go there, the same can be said of the opposite side (Westboro Baptist Church, for instance) with their "God hates soldiers" crap. Not that I would have a problem with somebody giving a righteous beating to the kid, Antifa or the WBC.

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