Fallen officer monument repaired as accused vandals appear in court

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — Two women faced a judge Friday for scratching up a West Memphis monument honoring fallen police officers.

The monument was vandalized less than two weeks after its dedication ceremony.

Lacey Friddle and Jessica Lapprad now sit behind bars. They appeared before a judge over a video monitor Friday.

Holmes Hammett with the West Memphis Chamber of Commerce said the community was devastated to see the monument vandalized.

“Some of them are really taking it personally, they really are,” Hammett said. “They feel like they’re disturbing, basically, a cemetery.”

The monument took more than three years of planning and hundreds of thousands of dollars in private donations.

Just days after it was unveiled, police say Friddle, Lapprad and three children carved it up with rocks.

“It wasn’t deep enough, so they were able to do two or three applications of scrubbing it, washing it, scrubbing it, washing it, and it all came out,” Hammett said.

That saved the city the $7,000 it would have taken to replace the damaged panels.

Now, they are on the defense. They have replaced the rocks that used to surround the monument.

“We put mulch and monkey grass in so we don’t give ammunition,” Hammett said.

Even with those changes, the monument is vulnerable. Even oil from your fingers leave marks on the steel surface.

“A high pressured wash, probably 3,000 psi, we’ll be able to just wash this off,” Hammett said.

Friddle and Lapprad both had their cases continued to September 8.

The city will also be installing cameras to prevent any future vandalism.

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