D.C.

Jia Mei Tian charged with vandalizing National Cathedral

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- 140-year-old Luther Place Memorial Church's sanctuary looks a lot better than it did -- but there's still a lot of work to do.

Lincoln Memorial vandalism photos

Lincoln Memorial vandalism photos 10 Photos
Lincoln Memorial vandalism photos

Parish Administrator Jack Reiffer says cleaning the organ pipes will be the toughest job and require outside help.

A 58-year-old woman named Jia Mei Tian remains in custody Tuesday, a day after she was caught at the scene one of a string of incidents during which green paint was tossed onto a prominent D.C. monument or building. She has been charged with defacing property and ordered held without bond. Many wonder why anyone would do what she's accused of doing.

So far, Tian is only charged with the Cathedral incident. It was there she was arrested on Monday while allegedly holding a soda can with green paint in it. Authorities are testing whether the paint there matches the paint on the other defaced properties.

In an appearance on Newstalk on NewsChannel 8 Tuesday, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said that the four incidents are likely connected.

According to charging documents, Tian was arrested in the Children's Chapel and had green paint on her clothes.

Tian, who told police she lives in Los Angeles, was in the U.S. on a visa that expired on July 27, 2013, according to charging documents.

Officials say fresh, wet paint was found on the chapel's organ, leading them to believe that the vandals struck very recently.

The Cathedral was closed while authorities investigated the vandalism.

It was just one of four places in the District where either green or white paint was found. The acts of vandalism purportedly began Friday morning, when paint was found all over the Lincoln Memorial.

Subsequent, similar acts were also found on a statue of Joseph Henry outside the Smithsonian Castle and at a Lutheran church in the Thomas Circle area.

At the Luther Place Memorial Church, a mixture of white paint and human waste was found inside while green paint was thrown onto a statue of Martin Luther outside the front door.

 

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