Suffolk County Police have arrested a 14-year-old who allegedly vandalized the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Park at Lake Ronkonkoma on Long Island, according to published reports.
A photo released by police showed that a round granite plaque with an image of the fallen Navy SEAL was shattered. Murphy had also received a Medal of Honor.
Police were notified about the vandalism on Thursday and arrested the unidentified teen at his home by 3 a.m. Friday, Fox News reported.
The 14-year-old was charged with second-degree criminal mischief, and is scheduled to be arraigned in family court at a later date, Suffolk County Police wrote on Twitter.
What happened to Murphy?
Murphy was killed during “a reconnaissance mission” in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005. Murphy and other members of his SEAL team were scouting a well-known terrorist when an enemy team of 50 men ambushed them, the report states. Murphy and fellow Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Danny Dietz and Sonar Technician 2nd Class Matthew Axelson were killed after 2 hours of fighting.
Murphy's Summary of Action stated: “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.”
Marcus Luttrell, the only surviving member of the team, shamed the vandal on Instagram, writing: "Only a coward would do this. We are matching Crime Stoppers Reward to anyone who turns in the low life who did this. To donate towards repairs go to MurphFoundation.org.”
Crime Stoppers offered a $2,500 reward.
Murphy once worked as a lifeguard at the park, which was dedicated to him in 2009 on the day of what would have been his 30th birthday, according to the report.
Will the memorial be replaced?
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote on Twitter that the state will fully fund the replacement of the memorial.
"I am appalled and disgusted by this apparent act of vandalism," he wrote. "The State of New York will fully fund the replacement of the plaque, and I hope this brings comfort to his family and community."