BOSTON (CBS) — The two men who took down the boy who allegedly vandalized the Boston Holocaust memorial on Monday evening were an off-duty Boston firefighter and a US Drug Enforcement Administration agent, said the Boston Fire Department.
According to the department’s spokesperson, Steve MacDonald, the pair was eating at the Union Oyster House when they heard the ordeal going on outside.READ MORE: NASA Discovers First Possible Planet Outside Milky Way Galaxy
They then saw a teenager running away from the freshly damaged Holocaust Memorial and chased him down, said MacDonald. When they caught him, they said he complied.
The firefighter did not wish to be identified.
City leaders gathered with religious leaders and a Holocaust survivor on Tuesday afternoon to denounce the vandalism.
The boy, identified only as a 17-year-old from Malden due to his age, was arraigned in Boston Juvenile Court on Tuesday.
Police said he threw a rock and shattered one of the memorial’s glass panels. The memorial’s six towers are made of glass panels etched with millions of numbers that represent tattoos on the arms of the Jews murdered by the Nazis.
He was charged with the willful & malicious destruction of property, destruction of a place of worship, and disorderly conduct. The Boston Police Civil Rights Unit is also investigating to determine if additional hate crime charges are pending.
Officials said they found a small knife and a small bag of marijuana on the teen.
According to the Suffolk District Attorney, he was released on his own recognizance, and ordered to comply with mental health treatment and stay away from the memorial.
Police said they also arrested a man on Tuesday morning for damaging the flowers placed at the Holocaust Memorial. Said Bouzit, 37, was charged with vandalizing a grave/memorial and disorderly person.
Bouzit’s bail was set at $5,000 because of a prior case involving assault and battery on a corrections officer.
Natalia Pfiefer told WBZ-TV that she witnessed the teenager’s actions.
She said,”I saw a man standing right next to where it happened, and he hesitated for a few moments and then he threw his hood up over his head and then ran through the memorial and he ran across the street. That’s where a few people who had either been at the memorial or on that side of the street apprehended him and kind of grappled with him and wrestled him to the ground.”
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This is the second time this summer that the Holocaust Memorial has been vandalized.
At Tuesday’s gathering, Mayor Marty Walsh said, “My heart goes out to all of the Holocaust survivors and their family members, and members of the Jewish community. We don’t know exactly what the motives are [behind] what happened here but we are worrisome that this is a resurgence of hatred that we’re seeing today and in this country.”
Former WBZ-TV anchor Reverand Liz Walker was also present.
“I know that our increasing capacity to hurt each other breaks my heart,” she said. “Wherever these kinds of heinous things happen, show up and love.”
Some stopped by throughout the day to light candles and show support.
Karen Goldenberg called it, “my act of love.”
“It makes me so very sad as you can see,” she said. “[The candle] was just a little something I could do.”
Boston Police also stood guard around the memorial.
On Saturday, a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville led to the death of one woman and injuries to 19 others.
One member of the Jewish community at the memorial said, “So many of us this weekend watched Neo-Nazis marching in the streets of Virginia, with their heads uncovered, carrying Nazi flags. That doesn’t necessarily mean that this perpetrator, [that] his motives are the same, but acts of violence, acts of hatred, acts of desecration damage us all.”
The memorial was rededicated in July after a 21-year-old man who authorities say suffers from mental illness threw a rock through one of the panels.
When the glass was shattered in June, it was replaced in just two weeks. The panel smashed Monday is bigger and might take longer.MORE NEWS: 2 Massachusetts Schools At Top Of Best Universities In The World List
Donations towards replacing the Holocaust Memorial’s panel can be made here.