President Donald Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star was destroyed early Wednesday by a man wielding a pickax, police say.
Officers responded to the stretch of sidewalk in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday after 3 a.m. to find a pile of rubble where the President’s engraved star once was, CNN reported.
Patricia Cox, who saw the man destroy the star, told KCAL in Los Angeles that he was “going to town” on it. He was attacking it "like it was his business just to be tearing up the ground," Cox said, adding that she "thought it was work going on over here."
Pictures and video of the sabotaged star show the surrounding sidewalk covered in debris, and the abandoned tool lying on the ground.
Police have arrested 24-year old Austin Clay for suspected felony vandalism, CNN reported. Ray Brown, a Los Angeles Police Officer, told the news channel that Clay did not reveal any motive behind his actions.
Clay was supposedly carrying the pickax in a guitar case, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Right after he had finished smashing the star, he reportedly phoned police to turn himself in.
Karen Leong, a Los Angeles police officer, told the Los Angeles Times that Clay called authorities and admitted that he destroyed Trump’s star, telling the police “see you soon."
This is not the first time the president’s star on the Walk of Fame was a target of vandalism.
In 2016, a man was arrested after he filmed himself demolishing the sidewalk star with a sledgehammer and pickax.
During last year’s L.A. Pride Resist March, the Trump's star was covered in stickers that said “#IResist Extremist” and "#IResist Transphobia” in opposition to administration policies seen as excluding transgender people and others.
Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, issued a statement encouraging people who have problems with Walk of Fame honorees to act on such issues in a different way.
"When people are unhappy with one of our honorees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways than to vandalize a California State landmark," Gubler said in his statement. "Our democracy is based on respect for the law. People can make a difference by voting and not destroying public property."
The investigation into the most recent case of vandalism is ongoing, and Clay is being held on $20,000 bail.
[Photo: Getty Images]
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