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Kenmore man accused of damaging Frederick Douglass statue

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Posted at 9:35 AM, Dec 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-17 09:35:32-05

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Kenmore man who is a student at St. John Fisher College is under arrest, accused of damaging a statue of Frederick Douglass in Rochester.

ABC affiliate WHAM reports that 21-year-old Charles Milks of Kenmore and 20-year-old John Boedicker of Endicott were arrested after Rochester police were called to Tracey Street in the city Sunday morning. Police say witnesses told them the two were trying to steal the statue, when it came crashing down. Both Milks and Boedicker are charged with criminal mischief.

Both men are students at St. John Fisher College. The college president gave the following statement to WHAM:

The College learned earlier this evening through various media reports that Fisher students were allegedly involved in vandalism of a statue honoring the legacy of Frederick Douglass in the City of Rochester. This behavior goes against who we are and who we strive to be. We share the outrage that members of the Rochester community feel about this incident. St. John Fisher College expects all members of our campus community to conduct themselves at all times in a manner that is consistent with the values articulated in our mission statement and in the Fisher Creed. Those who engage in behavior that may violate these standards are held accountable through our appropriate internal processes. I want to assure our campus community and the community at large that respect, open-mindedness, and integrity are of the utmost importance to the College, and we pledge to continue to demonstrate our commitment to these values to all members of the greater Rochester community and our own campus community. Given this reported incident, we recognize the need to redouble our efforts to promote these values and expectations and continue to educate our campus community around issues of diversity and race. St. John Fisher College has always cooperated fully with members of the law enforcement community, and will do so in addressing this matter.

Community members responded to the incident saying they plan to use it as a teaching moment.

Both students involved spoke with WHAM and apologized. Milks told 13WHAM, "We didn't intend for all this and I've already contacted the historical society and the sculptor in order to help right this wrong."

The students say they reached out to the artist who made the sculpture to offer to help fix it.

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