A statue of Christopher Columbus was beheaded over night on Tuesday in a Yonkers park, just north of New York City.
Pat Gamberdella, a life-long-resident of the city, called the police when he noticed Wednesday morning that the statue was vandalized, NBC New York reports.
The head was subsequently found discarded in a park about a mile north of the Bronx.
"It's very upsetting that American values have sunken to the level they are today," Gamberdella said. "It's unfortunate because I did go up there and I did see it all smashed."
Yonkers police investigating the incident believe that the decapitation could be fallout from the deadly protests over the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Va.
Gamberdella did not agree with those who would want to take down the statue, however.
"We can't just desecrate a monument to them just because you don't like what they did," he said.
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Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino agreed, saying that the desecration of statues "must stop."
"The statue craziness is getting absolutely ridiculous and must stop. We are a society of laws, not mob rule," he said in a statement.
Even opponents of the statue said that the beheading was too much. Chancel Cleckley said that looking at "oppressors" daily is an issue, but that defacing the statue was not the solution.
"I think it should be taken down, but I don't think going about it and defacing it is the way to do it," Cleckley said. "That just makes the other side angry."
The Yonkers Columbus statue is not the only statue subject to controversy in New York. New York City's Christopher Columbus monument, located in Columbus Circle, may be next to go.