Cobourg Police are requesting the public’s assistance after a “cowardly and stupid” act of vandalism took place at Chris Garrett Memorial Park in Cobourg.
Constable Chris Garrett was murdered in the early morning hours of May 15, 2004 at the former hospital on Chapel Street.
Troy Davey who was 18-years-old at the time called in a 9-1-1 call to the police stating he was robbed.
While Garrett was taking notes from Davey, Davey mortally wounded Garrett. Though mortarlly wounded, Garrett ran after Davey firing his service weapon striking him in the leg on the last shot.
A short time later he phoned his mother who took him to the hospital to be treated for his injury and was arrested and later convicted of first degree murder.
It was later learned that Davey had planned an extensive list of violence in the community. Homemade napalm etc was found inside his home. “Chaos is coming” was found in a manifesto. Even though mortarlly wounded, Garrett’s act of bravery saved other lives that night.
In 2005 the Chris Garrett Memorial Park was created after a committee was formed that included former Cobourg Police Chief Paul Sweet and members of Garrett’s family.
Gerald Gladstone was the artist that created “Hero’s Flight.”
The damage was discovered on Friday, June 9, 2023 at the park just north of Elgin Street on Birchwood Trail.
A swastika was spray painted memorial.
Blue spray painted also covered the plaque depicting Garrett’s heroic actions.
A bench and garbage can were also spray painted.
“The vandalism to an important monument to a hero in our community is a very cowardly and stupid act,” said Sweet.
“Defacing a sculpture of a renowned Canadian Artist is also very distressing and obviously shows the ignorance of the criminal. Hopefully the memorial and park will be returned soon to the condition they deserve and again shine as our beacon of recognition and thanks to our hero.”
Cobourg Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf echoed Sweet’s comments.
“This is unacceptable and disgraceful behaviour. We will not tolerate any messages or symbols promoting hatred in our community; defacing a memorial brings pain and hurt to families and the community.”
A Scenes of Crime Officers attended to process the scene, and police canvassed the areas for any information and/or video.
When Garrett’s partner, retired Constable John Roughly heard about the damage, he drove to Cobourg on Saturday to work on restoring the memorial.
Public Works division came up a short time later and the memorial has been restored as best as possible and the graffiti removed.
“I ask anyone with information to come forward.” – Chief Paul VandeGraaf, Cobourg Police Service.
The Cobourg Police Service is asking anyone in the area of Birchwood Trail in Cobourg between Thursday, June 9 and Friday, June 10, 2023, who saw anything suspicious or may have home surveillance or dash camera footage, please call police at 905-372-6821 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS or online at www.stopcrimehere.ca. Tips received through Crime Stoppers may be eligible for a cash reward.
“Hero’s Flight” is a memorial that consists of 24 steel birds, arching in a 14-foot high letter C, as they take flight. The letter C is for Const. Garrett’s first name, Chris, and the 24 birds represent the date of Const. Garrett’s death, May 15, 2004, the 15th day of the fifth month in the fourth year.