The vandals walked up to the Bowling Green bull around 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 9, according to the NYPD. They used a paint marker of some sort for the graffiti, then fled northbound on Broadway.
The vandalism happened within hours of Queen Elizabeth II’s death at the age of 96. She had marked 70 years on the throne in February 2022.
This isn’t the first time the Charging Bull status has been targeted. In 2019, a Texas man was arrested after he allegedly smashed the statue with a metal banjo. Tevon Varlack loudly shouted and played music from a portable speaker as he swung at the bull, according to court documents. The attack left the statue with a hole in its right horn.
“I did it. The banjo and speaker are mine,” Varlack said, according to court documents.
Also in 2019, climate change protesters were arrested after they allegedly doused the statue with fake blood. At least one protester, seen waving a green flag, climbed on top of the famous bull statue.
The 7,100-pound (3,200-kilogram) bull was created by Italian-born artist Arturo Di Modica in 1989 and installed in lower Manhattan as a work of guerrilla art. Di Modica said the sculpture was his gift to America. It quickly became a popular attraction.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.