Christopher Columbus statue on Elmwood Ave. vandalized after being boarded up, 3 arrested

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Three people were arrested after vandalism at the Christopher Columbus statue on Elmwood Avenue, early Saturday morning.

The statue had been recently boarded up and fenced off Friday night because of work being done in the area, according to Councilman James Taylor, who represents Ward 8 of the City of Providence.

“New lighting, new picnic benches, and we were concerned when they bring the equipment that they might hit the statue,” Taylor said.

Detectives had been working in the area specifically focusing their attention on Columbus square and the statue, according to Providence Police Commander Thomas Verdi.

Around 1:30 a.m.,  detectives noticed a man and woman getting out of a car and running across Elmwood Avenue towards Columbus square. The two began to splatter paint on the boarded up monument, according to police.

Both then fled across Elmwood Avenue towards Lexington Avenue.

Detectives saw both suspects enter the rear lot of the Feinstein School heading towards Ontario St. Detectives quickly drove to Ontario Street and were able to catch up to both suspects as they exited the lot.

Derrick Garforth, 34, and Charlotte Whittingham, 28, were both arrested.

Police said Mackenzie Innis, 26, who was driving the car the suspects were in, was arrested also.

While speaking with Innis, police said they saw an open container with white paint, purple paint, several rubber gloves, and several masks in the back seat area.

All three people were charged with desecration of grave/monument, which is a felony. They were arraigned the Public Safety Complex and release.

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