WASHINGTONVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police charged a 40-year-old man with cutting down a flagpole at a September 11 memorial in upstate New York.

Andre Narbonne was arraigned Friday on charges related to a vandalized church sign and three severed flagpoles, including one at a memorial honoring five New York City firefighters from Washingtonville who died in the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, according to the Times Herald-Record.

The memorial desecration happened on July 8.

Police on Friday did not offer a motive. A photo attached to a press release showed a message scrawled on the base of the severed pole in Washingtonville reading: “God does not want the U.S. bent on a virus! Don’t be idolatrous.” Officials did not indicate who wrote the message.

“It is sickening to me that someone could do something like this while not caring about the sacrifices that have been suffered by those who have defended our freedom,” New Windsor Police Chief Robert Doss said.

RELATED STORY: Families of 9/11 Victims Fight Decision To Cancel Tribute In Light At Ground Zero

Narbonne also was was charged with cutting down flagpoles at a strip mall and a cemetery in early July in nearby New Windsor. He was arraigned on felony and misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and released.

A phone number could not be found for the New Windsor resident and it was not clear if he had a lawyer.

Police said Narbonne traveled to Washington state after cutting the poles.

You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


Leave a Reply