The New York City Police Department has now arrested at least eight people for vandalizing a Black Lives Matter street mural outside Trump Tower in New York since its creation less than three weeks ago.
The NYPD twice arrested a white Rochester, N.Y., resident over the weekend, after he dumped paint on the mural on both Saturday and Sunday. The department charged Mark-David Hutt, 37, with criminal mischief on both occasions, Detective Denise Moroney said Monday.
A Facebook user, Marky Hutt — who identifies himself as the “founder of LGBTrump” and whose profile features pictures of himself wearing Trump memorabilia — posted on his and the LGBTrump Facebook page nearly a dozen videos of himself vandalizing the yellow-lettered mural, which covers the 700th block of New York’s Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower.
In the latest video, posted Monday morning, Hutt wrote: “Saturday, I splashed Red. Sunday, I splashed White. & on Monday … Mayor Bill de Blasio has ruined NYC & has put a target on the back of NYPD’s finest. We need to STAND UP and take our country back. #BlueLivesMatter ”
The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment on Hutt’s apparent threat to vandalize the mural a third time.
Moroney said police have so far arrested at least eight people for vandalizing the mural. All or most were residents of New York state, according to reporting from CNN and local news outlets.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) took part in painting the mural July 9. Conservative groups have filed lawsuits against the city and against D.C., which earlier painted an even larger Black Lives Matter mural on a street leading to the White House.
In his Facebook posts, Hutt bragged repeatedly about being arrested twice and having “NO REGRETS.” “Democrats are RUINING AMERICA!!” he wrote, urging people to “stand up” for their country. His LGBTrump Facebook page had previously referred to the Black Lives Matter movement as “terrorists,” and posted a meme that proclaimed Black Lives Matter “NO DIFFERENT than the KKK.”
Hutt said in an email that his name is, in fact, spelled Markdavid Hutt, and that he is 31, not 37. There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy.
Hutt did not respond to questions about his motives for the vandalism, but suggested over email that he would deface the mural again Monday evening, and invited publicity for the event.
“I’d suggest if you want an ‘exclusive’ then to show up around 6pm,” he wrote.