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News Release

City of Moreno Valley and County Launch Arson Investigation after Veterans Memorial Vandalization

For immediate release: March 19, 2022

The City of Moreno Valley and Riverside County have launched an arson investigation after the Veterans Memorial at the Moreno Valley Civic Center was vandalized early Saturday morning.

The fire was reported at approximately 5:00 a.m. and was quickly extinguished by Moreno Valley Firefighters. 

“The people responsible for this horrible and cowardly act will be brought to justice,” said Dr. Yxstian Gutierrez, Mayor of Moreno Valley. “This is not only destruction of government property, but it is also an attack on our veteran community in Moreno Valley.”

An investigation is ongoing, and suspect information is limited at this time. The City asks anyone with information about the incident to contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at 951.486.6700 or CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department at 951.940.6900.

The Moreno Valley Veterans Memorial was dedicated on June 14, 2007. The star-shaped monument features large granite panels upon which the names of Moreno Valley soldiers killed in action are inscribed. The Memorial’s centerpiece is a battlefield cross bronze statue, “Fallen Soldier,” created by Richard Rist of The Large Art Company of Baltimore, Maryland.

The sculpture consists of a pair of military boots, an M16 rifle with the barrel down between the boots, and a combat helmet on top. Pavers inscribed with the names of military veterans surround the Memorial along with landscaping, including olive trees. A rose garden, planted by the Moreno Valley Garden Club is also on the Memorial site.

More information about the Veterans Memorial can be found here.


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Upon request, this news release will be made available in appropriate alternative formats to persons with disabilities, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Any person with a disability who requires a modification or accommodation in order to participate in this meeting should direct such requests to Guy Pegan, ADA Coordinator, at 951.413.3120 at least 72 hours before the meeting. The 72-hour notification will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to this meeting.


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