A New York man was arrested twice for smearing paint across the Black Lives Matter mural that sits in front of Trump Tower.
Mark-David Hutt, of Rochester, was arrested by the New York Police Department on July 25 and 26, becoming one of at least eight people to be detained for vandalizing the mural.
Footage of Sunday’s vandalism was captured by a witness and begins with the 31-year-old crawling on his knees while using his bare hands to smudge the paint.
‘Unbelievable,’ one witness says. At least five witnesses watch in stunned silence as Hutt defaced the mural.
A NYPD officer appears halfway through the footage and tells Hutt that he must stop his actions.
‘Sir, step up sir! You need to stop,’ the officer says.
Hutt ignores the officer’s warnings several times and is eventually placed in handcuffs to be escorted out of the area. It took four police officers to get Hutt to comply wit their requests.
NYPD Detective Denise Moroney told The Washington Post that Hutt was charged with criminal mischief.
Hutt reportedly defaced the Black Lives Matter mural with paint on both Saturday and Sunday of last week.
On Facebook, Hutt shared a trove of videos and images of him painting over the mural.
In one video post, he wrote: ‘Saturday, I splashed Red. Sunday, I splashed White. & on Monday…’
He then blasted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for approving the mural and vowing to make reforms to local law enforcement.
‘Mayor Bill de Blasio has ruined NYC & has put a target on the backs of NYPD’s finest. We need to STAND UP and take our country back. #BlueLivesMatter, ‘he wrote.
Earlier this month, de Blasio and the New York City Council cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6 billion annual budget in response to protests over police practices in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Hutt identified himself as the founder of ‘LGBTrump’ and has several posts, both on his personal and LGBTrump page, making disparaging comments towards de Blasio and Democrats.
‘The #BlackLivesMatter “mural” is nothing more than a Democrat campaign billboard intended to cause more division in America,’ one post on the LGBTrump page read.
One meme shared by Hutt alleged the Black Lives Matter movement was ‘no different’ than the KKK.’
Authorities have said at least eight people have been arrested for vandalizing the Black Lives Matter mural.
The mural was first placed in front of Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, much to the President’s chagrin, on July 9 with help from local community members and de Blasio.
In one incident, a woman identified as Beverly Beatty, the president of At The Wells Ministry, was seen pouring black paint over the mural,
An officer, who appeared to slip on the Beatty’s wet paint and hit his head on the asphalt, was transported to Bellevue Hospital and is expected to fully recover.
‘You wanna defund the police for black people?’ the woman shouted, video from the incident shows. ‘We want our police! Re-fund our police!’
Three weeks ago, Juliet Germanotta, 39, D’Anna Morgan, 25, and Luis Martinez, 44, all of New York, were charged with criminal mischief and then released for covering the letters on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue with blue paint this month.
Cell phone footage taken last Sunday showed a woman wearing an ‘All Lives Matter’ and rainbow cape splashing the logo.
And a different video shows an unidentified man at approximately pulling the paint out of a bag as he approaches the mural.
He can then be seen pouring the paint on various letters of the mural before heading off in an unknown direction.
The suspect appears to be a white man who could be in his mid-20s or early-30s.
Police described the vandal as being medium build and said that he was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, black shorts, black sneakers and black sunglasses.
A number of Black Lives Matter murals have been painted across the country, including Washington D.C. amid ongoing anti-racism and police brutality protests that have swept the nation.