Man vandalized Lincoln Memorial to appear in court

Man vandalized Lincoln Memorial to appear in court
Posted at 9:00 AM, Sep 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-20 05:31:46-04

WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) - A man is set to appear in Washington, DC Superior Court after police say he vandalized The Lincoln Memorial.

Officials say a U.S. Park Police officer witnessed the man using a penny to etch the letters "h-y-p-t m-a-e-k" into a pillar at the memorial on Monday.

It's not clear what the letters mean.

The man is identified as 21-year-old Nurtilek Bakirov of the Kyrgyz Republic.

He stands charged with felony malicious destruction of property, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum $25,000 fine.

The National Park Service Conservation team is examining how best to remedy the damage, but tell the Washington Post that the damage is likely permanent.

This is not the first case of vandalism this year on the nearly 100-year-old Lincoln Memorial, which opened to the public in 1922.

Someone wrote in black marker cryptic messages, including “Jackie shot JFK” on the Lincoln Memorial and other sites around the area back in February. That person was never caught.

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