Arrest made in spray-painting of September 11 memorial, WTC beam in West Windsor

Keith Brown Times of Trenton 

WEST WINDSOR — A Connecticut man has been arrested and charged with spray painting the West Windsor September 11 memorial, including a World Trade Center beam, with graffiti in Cyrillic lettering last month, authorities said Monday.

Damage to West Windsor's September 11th Memorial  (Martin Griff Times of Trenton)

Damage to West Windsor’s September 11th Memorial (Martin Griff Times of Trenton)

Daniil Strukov, 27, of Putnam, Conn., faces charges of criminal mischief and desecration of a venerated object for the Nov. 2 spray-painting incident at the memorial at Ronald R. Rogers Arboretum, police said.

Strukov was arrested Sunday in Georgia by the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office. He is awaiting extradition to New Jersey, West Windsor Detective Sgt. Robert A. Fow Jr. said.

Fow declined to give details of the investigation, other than to say that Strukov was found to live in Putnam, Conn., but police there said he had recently moved to Georgia, where he has relatives.

Cyrillic lettering, used in many Eastern European countries, was spray painted in red over the slate tile flooring of the memorial’s gazebo, a wooden bench, pavers near the walkway to its reflecting pools, five large stones at the reflecting pools and a steel beam recovered from the World Trade Center, police have said.

A partial translation has been made of some of the graffiti, which spells a name believed to be “Bozhena,” police have said.

The graffiti was cleaned by the township within a day or two of the incident, West Windsor Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh said.

“We didn’t think we could tolerate that kind of thing for any longer than we had to,” Hsueh said.

The damage is estimated at $2,500 to clean the graffiti, police said.

There were seven victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center from West Windsor. The memorial was dedicated to the memories of Jeffrey M. Chairnoff, Michael J. Cunningham, Peter Edward Mardikian, Patrick Sean Murphy, Edward R. Pykon, John J. Ryan, Jr. and David S. Suarez.

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