Police: Teen vandal shattered Lt. Murphy Memorial plaque

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LINDENHURST -

A 14-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the destroyed plaque in Ronkonkoma honoring Lt. Michael P. Murphy – a Medal of Honor recipient from Patchogue who died in combat in Afghanistan in 2005.

The plaque, which features Lt. Murphy’s image in Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Park, was cracked in multiple pieces.

MOREVandalism shatters memorial for LI Medal of Honor recipient

The unnamed teen was taken into custody around 3 a.m. Friday at his home in Ronkonkoma. He is facing a criminal mischief charge and will be arraigned at family court at a later date.

Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart told News 12 that they take all vandalism allegations seriously.

"I can tell you we moved heaven and Earth when it comes to a national American hero like Lt. Michael Murphy," she said.

Lt. Murphy’s mother, Maureen, said she was “really upset” when she heard about the vandalism.

“When I saw that, I felt like I lost him again,” she said.

“All I can say is that Michael was the type of person who would have wanted to take that young man under his wing and talk to him, and explain to him the significance of his actions,” said Daniel Murphy, Michael’s father.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement that said the state would fully fund a replacement plaque. Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine says security at the park will be stepped up with surveillance cameras and increased patrols.

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