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Veterans memorial defaced in Alhambra; alleged tagger arrested

Veterans memorial defaced in Alhambra; alleged tagger arrested
Police on Tuesday announced the arrest of a man who they say tagged a veterans memorial in Alhambra. (Alhambra Police Department)

An 18-year-old man was arrested Monday on suspicion of spray-painting graffiti on a veterans memorial at Alhambra Park.

Abel Samano of Monterey Park was taken into custody a day before Veterans Day on suspicion of felony vandalism after police received an anonymous tip, according to the Alhambra Police Department.

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Police had been searching for Samano, who goes by the moniker "AMER," since Nov. 5 when the graffiti was spotted.

"It appears some disrespectful cowards spray painted their tagging crew and tagger names over the memorial," the police department stated on its Facebook page.

Crews removed the large, white letters spray-painted above the Thomas Jefferson quote "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance" inscribed on the memorial. But the damage was already done.

"This is not okay," the police department wrote in bold letters in the message on Facebook.

The memorial and waterfall -- dedicated on June 6, 2009 -- stands on the north end of the park in the 500 block of North Palm Avenue.

Bronze medallions on the memorial represent the five branches of U.S. armed forces.

For breaking news throughout California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA. She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

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