In an unexpected turn of events, the 33 year-old man now facing charges for vandalizing the cenotaph outside of Old City Hall the day after Remembrance Day claims to have done so in defence of Don Cherry.
Thomas Zaugg admitted to defacing the monument in an extremely lengthy Facebook post Wednesday.
Early Tuesday morning, passersby discovered dark blue spray-painted letters sprawled across the cenotaph. It read, “Ye Broke Faith” in capital letters, while the north side of the monument read “with us.”
The vandalized phrase comes from a line in the memorialized poem “In Flanders Fields” by Canadian John McCrae.
Many saw the vandalization as an act of disrespect toward veterans, including Toronto Mayor John Tory, but Zaugg says he intended for the opposite.
“Nowadays graffiti is fairly easily removed. It does not disrespect a war memorial to momentarily affix a line from a poem written by a man whose grave is honoured, along with many others as a part of that stone,” he wrote in his post.
He appeared in court Friday morning, where he appeared to argue with the duty counsel representing him, according to CP24.
He was released on bail after a judge ordered that he must attend counselling, undergo a mental health assessment, not be near the area of the Old City Hall cenotaph and not possess paint.