A suspect violently vandalized several bikes belonging to a group of veterans who drove their motorcycles from California to D.C. for the Memorial Day weekend.
This Memorial Day was supposed to be the first for a new military veterans tribute ride called Rolling To Remember. It was the successor to Rolling Thunder, which ended last year.
Dave Clemmons, of Ohio, and a group of fellow Vietnam War veterans knew there would be no such ride due to the coronavirus pandemic. But they decided to make the long trip anyway.
For Clemmons, the gesture of driving across country was also a way to pay tribute to his own son, U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Brad Allen Clemmons, who died when an explosive device struck his vehicle in Iraq in 2006. He was 37 and a father of four.
"My son … is buried at Arlington National Cemetery and we always lay a wreath at his grave as well," Clemmons said.
After some time at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Sunday morning, the group stopped for breakfast at an IHOP restaurant next to the Fairfield Inn on Duke Street in Alexandria, Virginia. Then, they rested at the hotel.
They were later alerted someone damaged their bikes parked outside the hotel, causing hundreds - and in some cases thousands - of dollars in damage.
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"It was like 17 bikes and somebody come in an SUV, got out of an SUV with a hammer and decided to get down through there and start busting our bikes up," Clemmons said.
Security camera footage showed the suspect taking out a hammer and beating the motorcycles.
"It was just all kind of crazy. We weren't there to have any issues or trouble. We were there to pay respect and honor to our heroes, and to have that to happen was just devastating, just unbelievable," Clemmons said.
Alexandria police said they identified the suspect and an active investigation is underway.
It's unclear what the suspect's motive was.