Trump Demands 'Anarchists' Who Defaced Washington Statue Turn Themselves In

President Donald Trump has threatened that the suspects accused of vandalizing two George Washington statues in New York face up to 10 years in jail while urging them to hand themselves in.

The NYPD are searching for two male suspects who are alleged to have thrown red paint at the statues in Washington Square Park at around 3:20 a.m. on Monday. The incident occurred after police clashed with protesters during a Queer Liberation march in Greenwich Village on Sunday.

Surveillance footage released by the force shows two white males in masks walking towards the main entrance of the Greenwich Village park. The pair are seen talking to a third male dressed in white T-shirt and pushing a Citi bike standing by the statues.

One of the suspects is then seen appearing to throw red paint-filled balloons at the monuments. The pair then fled the scene and are still at large.

One of the suspects was seen wearing black T-shirt and black shorts and a surgical masks on his face. The other was wearing black jeans and T-shirt and a white mask which covered his entire face.

NYPD Crime Stoppers is offering $2,500 for information which leads to an arrest.

The incident took place after statues and monuments of slave owners and Confederate leaders have been removed or vandalized across the country following the Black Lives Matter protests which broke out in the wake of the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd in police custody.

On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted: "We are tracking down the two Anarchists who threw paint on the magnificent George Washington Statue in Manhattan. We have them on tape.

"They will be prosecuted and face 10 years in Prison based on the Monuments and Statues Act. Turn yourselves in now!"

One of the vandalized statues shows Washington as a general during the Revolutionary War while the other depicts him as America's first president. The red paint has since been cleaned off the statues.

"It's a waste of city resources," Parks worker John Saunders, who was helping with the cleanup, told NY Daily News. "This funding could be used for school programs instead."

Trump's highlighting the investigation into the "anarchists" follows on from his taking a hard stance against antifa protesters after violence broke out at many BLM protests.

Earlier this month, Trump said he intends to list the left-wing movement as a terrorist organization, despite suggestions this will be impossible to implement.

trump
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the BOK Center on June 20, 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty