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Police: Christopher Columbus statues defaced with red paint

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Police have stepped up security after two Christopher Columbus statues were vandalized with red paint in Connecticut.

Authorities say the statues at Harbor Park in Middletown and Wooster Square in New Haven were vandalized overnight Saturday.

The paint has since been cleaned up.

Both Middletown and New Haven Police Departments said Sunday that they are increasing patrols in the area as Columbus Day approaches.

A number of similar statues have been defaced across the country. Cities in various states do not celebrate Columbus Day and instead celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day or Native American Day.