Police say numerous tips from the public helped investigators identify the suspect who was one of a couple hundred that attended the planned Indigenous Freedom Rally at City Hall and Gore Park on Saturday afternoon.
The accused is facing a mischief over $5,000 charge and has been released on an undertaking. He’s expected in court at a later date.
Police say estimated damage is in excess of $5,000 after spray paint, a hammer and grinder were used by demonstrators on the statue once it was knocked to the ground.
The rally on Saturday was in answer to city council’s decision on July 9 to keep the statue in place amid calls from some in the community to remove it.
Hamilton councillors did vote to review the city’s landmarks and monuments in the near future at a cost about $75,000.
Other Canadian cities, such as Kingston and Charlottetown, have removed their statues of Canada’s first prime minister in recent weeks in light of his role in establishing the country’s residential school system and the damage that his policies have done to Indigenous people.
The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program has a hotline to help residential school survivors and their relatives suffering with trauma invoked by the recall of past abuse. The number is 1-866-925-4419.
With files from Lisa Polewski