At least three people climbed the monument's east side sculpture while others took pictures

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The monument is surrounded by soldiers and sailors, but they could do nothing to protect her when a group showed up early Sunday.

At least three people climbed the monument's east side sculpture while others took pictures. Intentionally or not, the culprits caused causing thousands of dollars in damage.

"It's disheartening, I guess would be the best way," said Executive Director Tim Daley. "I was raised in such a way that I would never even think about doing anything like that."

Now the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office is looking over surveillance videos, trying to map the group's getaway around 3 a.m. Sunday.

Related story: Soldiers and Sailors monument vandalized

The people involved could face federal charges.

"If you look up, underneath the barrel [of the cannon], you see where the gentleman's hand is underneath the barrel, and that's where this piece would be, and that's where he would be taking this to turn it so that he could lower or elevate the cannon," said Daley.

The bronze piece is about 12 inches long and weighs about 10 lbs. Daley couldn't estimate its value. He is waiting on an expert to examine the true extent of the damage.

"Terrible. It looked like kids, just goofing off, don't look like they intentionally broke it, but why even," said one woman.

"I think it's a shame and I think it's a lack of respect for a war memorial," said Patty McKlevey.

Desecrating a war memorial is a federal crime and Daley says he hopes that's the way these vandals will be charged that way: to make an example of how not to treat a monument.

The monument was dedicated July 4, 1894. There is a program planned for this Saturday, June 28 at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to celebrate the Civil War victory.

"When we see vandalism like this at any war memorial, it can affect all of us across the board," said Daley.

The sheriff's office says they have not identified anyone as of Monday evening.

Daley says in his 12 years working at the monument, he's never experienced anything more than small additions of graffiti.

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